Down and Monaghan earn opening McKenna Cup wins

Down beat Armagh 2-12 to 0-10 in the Power NI McKenna Cup clash at Newry while Monaghan also won in Section B as they defeated St Mary's 0-14 to 0-6.

Ryan Brady's goal helped Down lead 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time and while Armagh reduced the margin to three, Conor Laverty's goal ensured Down's victory.

St Mary's stayed with Monaghan in the first half as they home side led 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval at Clones.

But Monaghan dominated thereafter with Paul Finlay finishing on five points.

At Newry, Brady's 15th-minute goal helped Down take control.

Marcus Miskelly (0-2), Aidan Carr (0-2), Dan Gordon (0-1) and Danny Hughes (0-1) were the other Down scorers in the opening period.

Aidan Forker, Micheal O'Rourke, Stefan Campbell, Brian Mallon and Billy Joe Padden landed points for Armagh.

The second half was more evenly contested with the Orchard County closing to within three points of the hosts at one stage.

O'Rourke ended the match with three points but hit the woodwork on three separate occasions.

Substitute Laverty hit Down's second goal with 12 minutes of normal time left.

Benny Coulter returned to action for the final 10 minutes and scored his side's final point of the afternoon.

Liam Doyle, who has been dogged by injury in recent seasons, contributed two points.

Both sides used the match to experiment and Down debutant Miskelly impressed with a personal tally of three points.

At Clones, Ciaran Hanratty hit two of Monaghan's four first-half points with Derryman Brian Doyle contributing two of St Mary's opening-period scores.

Two Finlay points after the break extended Monaghan's lead to three although St Mary's kept battling and a second Stephen Cluxton-like free from keeper Niall Morgan helped the Students stay within a kick of the ball of their opponents with 10 minutes remaining.

However, Monaghan pulled away in the closing minutes with five unanswered points.

Sunday's McKenna Cup results

Section A

Tyrone 1-13 1-05 Queen's

Fermanagh 2-11 1-6 Antrim

Section B

Monaghan 0-14 0-6 St Mary's College

Down 2-12 0-10 Armagh

Section C

Derry 0-13 0-12 Cavan

Donegal 0-9 0-11 UUJ

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