Dr McKenna Cup: Wins for Monaghan, Armagh and Down on opening day

Monaghan fight back to beat Derry in McKenna Cup

Seamus McEnaney's second spell as Monaghan manager got off to a winning start as his side defeated Derry 1-17 to 0-14 in the Dr McKenna Cup.

Aaron Mulligan starred with a goal and four points as the Farney men dominated the second half at Inniskeen.

Elsewhere Armagh eased past Cavan as an impressive opening 35 minutes set-up a 2-17 to 1-13 win.

A late Liam Kerr goal sealed Down's comfortable 1-11 to 0-7 victory over Fermanagh in Section B.

New Derry boss Rory Gallagher will have taken heart from much of his side's display in Monaghan, despite the fact that the Oak Leafers wilted in the final quarter of the game.

Monaghan raced into an early six-point lead with Latton's Mulligan, one of a host of newcomers in the Monaghan side, scoring the game's only goal after just nine minutes, running onto Gary Mohan's pass before calming slotting low beyond Thomas Mallon.

However Derry responded well and after a lacklustre opening 10 minutes found themselves back in the contest having reeled off five consecutive points.

Ryan Bell's free saw the visitors take a one-point lead into the break before a flurry of early second-half scores saw them extend their lead to three.

To their credit Monaghan never looked rattled and, sparked by Mulligan's first point from play, scored 11 of the game's final 13 points to claim the six-point win.

Late scores help Down past Fermanagh

The opening 25 minutes had as many substitutions and cards as it did points at Brewster Park, with Ryan Jones kicking Fermanagh into an early lead before Kerr responded for Down.

Eoin Donnelly and Owen McCabe were both carded as the stop-start nature of the game continued, with Fermanagh's Stephen McGullion then sin-binned on 28 minutes.

Liam Kerr
Down forward Liam Kerr played for the county's under-20 side last season

That seemed to spark some points-scoring action from the visitors, with Ross McGarry and two Pat Haveron scores handing Down a three-point margin.

However the Ernesiders outfit responded before the break, with Garvan Jones and Conall Jones reducing Down's lead to one point at half-time.

Jonny Flynn, Haveron and Conor Poland all struck for Down, who moved into a three-point advantage shortyl after the restart, however Fermanagh hit back through Conall Jones' free and a point from play by Darragh McGurn.

Jones grabbed another score either side of Kerr's double, with Liam Middleton taking Down into double figures with five minutes to play.

Kerr netted in injury time for the Mournemen to wrap up the win, with Ross Carr's point adding some further gloss for Paddy Tally's men despite a late response by McGurn.

Turbitt goals see Armagh sink Cavan

A goal in each half from Conor Turbitt saw Armagh control their encounter with Cavan in a repeat of last season's Ulster Championship semi-final.

Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney will have enjoyed his side's first half performance in particular, with the Orchard Country notching 1-14 in the first half as Crossmaglen's Rian O'Neill once again displayed his physical prowess with a commanding display.

Martin Reilly's penalty saw Cavan hit the front after 10 minutes however once Turbitt scored his first goal midway through the half to put Armagh three points up, the Orchard never looked like surrendering their lead.

The second half was a much less frantic affair with Armagh seeing out the win with ease.

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup results

Section A
Section B
Section C

McKenna Cup Sections

Section A
Section B
Section C
Semi-final draw
Section C winner v Section B winner
Section A winner v Best runner up

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