Dr McKenna Cup: Derry edge Armagh as Down defeat Queen's

Aidan McLaughlin fires in Derry's opening goal against Armagh at Owenbeg
Aidan McLaughlin fires in Derry's opening goal against Armagh at Owenbeg

Derry clinched a 3-10 to 2-12 win over Armagh while Down beat Queen's University 1-11 to 1-8 in the McKenna Cup Section A openers on Sunday.

Anthony Duffy netted early for Armagh but an Aidan McLaughlin goal helped Derry to a two-point lead at half-time.

Emmet McGuckin and Enda Lynn goals put Derry in control but Armagh fought back and Ciaran McKeever netted late on.

Alan Davidson's penalty before the break proved decisive as Down defeated the students in Downpatrick.

Cathal Magee struck the opening point for the Mourne men and the hosts would stay in front until the final whistle.

Davidson's penalty was the last score in opening 35 minutes and it gave Down a 1-5 to 0-4 advantage at the interval.

Four-point blast from Down

Magee fired over three of four points without reply as Down made a blistering start to the second half.

The Queen's scorers included Marty Clarke, one of 10 Mourne County men in the QUB squad but he has opted out of Eamonn Burns' county panel.

Armagh held a 2-1 to 0-1 lead early in the Owenbeg game before Derry hit back with McLaughlin's goal ensuring they went in 1-5 to 1-3 ahead at half-time.

Derry forward Ryan Bell comes under pressure from Orchard duo Anthony Duffy and Stephen Sheridan
Derry forward Ryan Bell comes under pressure from Orchard duo Anthony Duffy and Stephen Sheridan

John McGill's point moved the Orchard side back in front but they were quickly behind courtesy of McGuckin's penalty.

Derry hit an unanswered 1-2, with Lynn netting, to open up a six-point gap.

Armagh rallied late in the game and McKeever struck a goal with the last kick of the game to leave just a point between the sides.

2017 Dr McKenna Cup

Round 1: Sunday, 8 January

Section A

Down 1-11 1-8 QUB (Downpatrick)

Derry 3-10 2-12 Armagh (Owenbeg)

Section B

Antrim 3-12 2-16 St Mary's (Glenavy)

Monaghan 1-13 0-15 Fermanagh (Clones)

Section C

Cavan 1-13 0-10 Tyrone (Kingspan Breffni Park)

Donegal 4-13 2-20 Ulster University (Pairc MacCumhaill)

Round 2: Saturday 14 January (19:00 GMT)

Tyrone v Ulster University (Healy Park)

Sunday, 15 January

Section A

Down v Derry (Pairc Esler)

Armagh V QUB (Athletic Grounds)

Section B

Antrim v Monaghan (Corrigan Park)

Fermanagh v St Mary's (Brewster Park)

Section C

Donegal v Cavan (Pairc MacCumhaill)

Round 3: Wednesday, 18 January

Section A

Derry v QUB (Owenbeg)

Armagh v Down (Athletic Grounds)

Section B

Fermanagh v Antrim (Brewster Park)

Monaghan v St Mary's (Inniskeen)

Section C

Cavan v Ulster University (Kingspan Breffni Park)

Tyrone v Donegal (Healy Park)

Semi-finals: Sunday, 22 January

Section C Winner V Best Runner Up

Section B Winner V Section A Winner

Final: Saturday, 28 January

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