McKenna Cup Section B: Opening wins for Armagh and Derry

Andrew Murnin fired in Armagh's opening goal of 2018 two minutes into the second half at Newry
Andrew Murnin fired in Armagh's opening goal of 2018 two minutes into the second half at Newry

Second-half goals by Andrew Murnin and Ronan Lappin helped get Armagh off to a 2-12 to 0-13 winning start against Down in Section B of the McKenna Cup.

Aidan Forker got four points for the hosts at Pairc Esler while Down prospect Ronan Millar landed five.

In the other Section B match, Derry began life under Damian McErlain with a one-point win over Ulster University.

Enda Lynn and James Kielt got the goals for the Oak Leafers while Danny Tallon netted twice for the students.

Tallon, of the Watty Grahams club, was playing against his own county in Wednesday's match at Owenbeg.

Terence O'Brien scored UU's other goal from a penalty early in the second half.

In the match at Newry, Kieran McGeeney's Armagh side ended the first half leading 0-9 to 0-5.

McGeeney fielded a strong side while Down were more experimental, giving Kilcoo's Aaron Morgan a debut and Johnny Bell, Conor Poland and Colm Flanagan among the other new faces.

Within 10 minutes of the restart, Armagh had put the issue beyond doubt, outscoring Down by 2-1 to one point.

As Armagh eased off, Down rattled off five unanswered points to breathe some interest into the contest.

Substitute Caolan Mooney scored twice from play and Anthony Doherty landed two long-range frees to reduce the deficit to 2-10 to 0-12 with 15 minutes left.

Goalscorer Lappin ended a 15-minute scoring drought for Armagh with a close-range point to steady the ship and give the Orchard county a winning start to the year.

Bank of Ireland McKenna Cup Section B
Derry2-14Ulster University3-10
Down0-13Armagh2-12
Section A
Cavan0-15St Mary's0-12
Tyrone4-20Antrim2-11
Section C
Donegal2-15Queen's0-6
Fermanagh2-11Monaghan0-12

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