Down, Derry and Armagh clinch wins in the Ulster SHC

Derry's Martin Gorgan and Tyrone's Paddy Kelly
Derry's Martin Grogan battles with Tyrone's Paddy Kelly at Healy Park

Down, Derry and Armagh clinched victories in Saturday's Ulster Senior Hurling Championship first-round games.

Goals from Michael Kirkpatrick and Alan Grant helped Derry record a 2-13 to 0-6 victory over Tyrone at Healy Park after they led 1-8 to 0-4 at half-time.

Donegal gave Down an unexpectedly tough test at Letterkenny before the Mourne County earned a 3-16 to 1-13 win.

Armagh, meanwhile, clinched a 5-19 to 5-6 win over Fermanagh in a high-scoring encounter at Brewster Park.

Kirkpatrick's goal and four Oisin McCloskey points helped the Oak Leafers to a 1-8 to 0-4 interval lead at Omagh.

Kirkpatrick struck accurately from frees in a low-scoring second half, with the experience and superior technique of the Oak Leafers seeing them safely through to the quarter-finals, Grant sealing the win with a late goal.

Down powered to a commanding 1-12 to 0-6 lead by half-time against Donegal at Letterkenny with Aidan Clarke netting.

Clarke's 10th-minute strike gave Down a 1-5 to 0-2 advantage, with Ciaran Matheson and Stephen Boyle hitting Donegal's early points.

Lee Henderson also helped to keep Donegal in touch in the first half, but Gareth Johnson, Aaron O'Prey, Kevin McGarry and Brendan Ennis all slotted points for Down.

Derry manager Ger Rogan
Derry manager Ger Rogan during his team's win over Tyrone

Clarke struck his side's second goal immediately after the restart but Donegal scored 1-5 without reply in a 15-minute spell as they mounted a comeback.

Matheson, Henderson and Boyle all registered points with Boyle also netting a goal to leave the score at 2-12 to 1-11 with 12 minutes remaining.

However, Down reasserted themselves late on with Johnston (1-6) netting his side's third goal, with Scott Nicholson also among the visitors' scorers in the final quarter.

Fermanagh were level with Armagh with 20 minutes left (4-5 to 1-14) after Declan McGarry (2-0) had netted his second goal for Fermanagh.

However the Orchard County found the net on four occasions in the closing 19 minutes, with Conor Corvan (2-1), Ger Enright (1-3) and Cathal Carville (1-2) claiming three-pointers.

The hosts led by 2-2 to 0-4 after 10 minutes with Sean Corrigan claimed both early goals.

However, Paul McCormack's 28th-minute goal helped Armagh move 1-10 to 2-4 ahead by half-time.

Little separated the sides in the third quarter before Armagh pulled away following Enright's goal.

Ulster Senior Hurling Championship first round results

Donegal 1-13 3-16 Down

Tyrone 0-6 2-13 Derry

Fermanagh 5-6 5-19 Armagh

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