Tyrone emerge as victors
Tyrone remain on track to defend their Power NI Dr McKenna Cup title after emerging as 2-13 to 1-10 victors over Antrim this afternoon.
Peter Harte’s sixth-minute goal set Mickey Harte’s men on their way at Casement Park, and he added a second major in the 27th minute.
In between, the Saffrons launched their challenge with Kevin Niblock converting an eighth minute penalty.
Home goalkeeper Chris Kerr kept the hosts in the hunt at times, pulling off some fine saves. Indeed, he thwarted Peter Harte before the Red Hands ace netted on the rebound.
Darren McCurry, who finished with 0-5, landed two points approaching half-time and Plunkett Kane also got on the scoresheet.
Former Footballer of the Year Stephen O’Neill added a brace to Tyrone’s tally, while Paddy Cunningham notably came off the Antrim to score two late points.
Tyrone now have two victories in Section C, an achievement matched today by Section A side Monaghan who got the better of an experimental Donegal team in Ballybofey.
The Farney men cruised to a 3-16 to 1-5 triumph against the All-Ireland champions who again had none of their Sam Maguire Cup winners on show.
The hosts struggled initially and it took them a full 28 minutes to score. When they did, they mustered a goal through Adrian Hanlon.
Monaghan led 0-7 to 1-1 at the break and a trio of goals from Keith McEnaney, Dermot Malone and midfielder Darren Hughes stretched the winning margin considerably.
Malachy O’Rourke’s charges, who beat St. Mary’s in their cup opener, were full value for their win with Hughes’ fisted goal being the icing on the cake.
Hughes’ brother, Kieran, landed an impressive 0-5 for the victors, with four of his points coming from open play.
Stephen Griffin (0-2), Willie Gillespie and Declan Walsh registered Donegal’s four points in the closing half.
Fermanagh also boast a two wins-out-of two record thanks to today’s 2-15 to 1-5 defeat of St. Mary’s at Brewster Park.
The home victory always looked the probable result given that the Erne men were 2-7 to 1-2 in front by half-time with Shane McCabe and Paul Ward both finding the net.
A 20th minute goal from Brian Doyle was the highpoint for the student side, while Fermanagh’s Ward (2-4) and Daryl Keenan (0-5) both finishing with handsome tallies.
The semi-final qualifiers from Section A will be decided by the Monaghan v Fermanagh clash at Inniskeen on Wednesday night.
Yesterday saw Cavan open their win account in the early season Ulster competition as they accounted for a young Armagh side on a 3-9 to 1-11 scoreline.
Tomas Corr and Martin Dunne both scored early goals for the Breffni men who built a 2-5 to 1-5 interval lead, with Gavin McParland netting for the Orchard men.
Dunne raised a second green flag at the Athletic Grounds and Armagh finished the game with 14 men following Kieran Toner’s second bookable offence.
A positive for the hosts was the performance of top scorer Stefan Forker who landed six points, including four frees. Corr’s midfield partner Gearoid McKiernan fired over four points from play for Cavan.
In Section C’s other game last night, Derry ran out convincing 1-13 to 0-6 winners when hosting UUJ at Celtic Park.
Debutant Ciaran McFaul bulged the net for the Oak Leafers’ only goal as new manager Brian McIver celebrated his first victory with the county.
POWER NI DR MCKENNA CUP GROUP STAGES –
Fermanagh 2-15 St. Mary’s 1-5, Brewster Park
Donegal 1-5 Monaghan 3-16, Ballybofey
Armagh 1-11 Cavan 3-9, Athletic Grounds (played on Saturday)
Antrim 1-10 Tyrone 2-13, Casement Park
Derry 1-13 UUJ 0-6, Celtic Park (played on Saturday)