Down claim Derry scalp in McKenna Cup

Derry 1-13 Down 1-15

Derry 1-13 Down 1-15

Former Aussie Rules star Martin Clarke grabbed a goal as Down qualified for the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals with a win over Derry.

The Mourne men took the scalp of the hosts at Celtic Park, adding to their previous Group C wins over Queen's University and Antrim.

James McCartan's side have topped the table with a maximum six points and will face Donegal in a mouth-watering semi-final on Wednesday night.

It took two late points from the in-form Paul McComiskey for Down to edged out Derry in a competitive early season clash.

The visitors were 0-9 to 0-4 ahead at half-time and Clarke's goal stretched their lead to 1-11 to 0-5.

But Derry manager Damien Cassidy will have been pleased with what followed.

The Oak Leafers hit five points in quick succession and a goal from Seamus Bradley helped the hosts get back on terms, only for McComiskey to have the final say.

Fermanagh secured their third straight win in Group A of the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup, with an injury-time point from Ryan Carson steering them to a 1-8 to 1-6 victory over Armagh.

Malachy O'Rourke's side preserved their unbeaten start to the new season, coming away from the Athletic Grounds with a prized win that sets up a crack at Tyrone in Wednesday's semi-final.

In an error strewn first half, Ryan Jones notched a 22nd minute goal which sent the Ernesiders on their way to a 1-4 to 0-3 half-time lead.

Brian Mallon and Malachy Mackin were on target early on for Armagh but both sides struggled for any fluency in attack and Jones' goal was the only real highlight.

Rory Gallagher was introduced off the bench as he made his comeback for Fermanagh, but it was another second half substitute that stoked the fires for Armagh.

After Jones and Ciaran Flaherty had extended the visitors' lead to seven points, the Armagh management sent Steven McDonnell on and he made an immediate impact.

The former All-Star forward scored a brilliant 1-3 in the space of seven minutes to spark the game back into life and cut Fermanagh's advantage back to 1-7 to 1-6.

But despite the best efforts of McDonnell and Clarke, the scores then dried up for Armagh and Carson settled the issue with his late point.

More reports to appear here.

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