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Saturday 16 December 2017

Clancy stands tall as Laois get show on the road

NFL DIVISION 1 ROUND-UP: After the mauling at the hands of Mayo at home, Laois had a great away day against Donegal, winning 2-9 to 2-6 in Letterkenny.

The visitors even managed to withstand a late rally from the hosts before registering their first league victory of the season.

Big Pádraig Clancy on the edge of the square proved a match-winner for Justin McNulty's side, as he caused havoc in Donegal's last line of defence.

At the interval, the midlanders led by 1-6 to 0-4, thanks to an injury-time penalty from Paul Cahillane.

McNulty's side moved 2-9 to 0-4 ahead at the end of the third quarter, with dangerman Clancy collecting their second goal.

Donegal netted through Anthony Thompson and Neil Gallagher late on, but Laois held on for the points.



Kelly hero for Rebels

Patrick Kelly grabbed a hat-trick of goals to help Cork to their first win of the season as they saw off Down by 13 points, 4-11 to 0-11, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Having drawn away to Armagh in their opener, Cork face Donegal next, well-placed on three points. Cork did more than enough to get past Down, who scored the game's first three points but never led again after being pegged back.

Two Kelly goals and a Donncha O'Connor penalty ensued that Cork led by 3-5 to 0-5 at half-time.

By that stage, the destination of the two points wascertain.

Aside from Kelly, midfielder Alan O'Connor and Mark Collins at centre-forward put in fine shifts, while Michael Shields did a fine man-marking job on Benny Coulter, meaning that the visitors' attack lacked focus.



Kingdom in shock

ARMAGH provided the shock of the weekend as the Ulstermen stormed Austin Stack Park to gain a 2-8 to 0-10 victory over Kerry, the conquerors of Dublin from the opening round.

The Orchard men led from the fifth minute when Aidan Forker landed a point and never relinquished that advantage to finish a fine week that has seen Paddy O'Rourke's side take three points from a possible four after showdowns with Cork and Kerry.

The Kingdom had exacted some measure of revenge on Dublin for their All-Ireland final defeat the previous weekend but looked listless for large parts of Saturday's clash, with Jack O'Connor conceding afterwards that the visitors were the better side.

"There is no other way of putting it; it was disappointing as we did not appear as up for the game as Armagh," said O'Connor.

"That was the big danger after the Dublin game -- that there would be a come-down.

"We spoke about it during the week that it would be a big game for Armagh, especially the way they came back in the second half against Cork, so we needed to treat this game as a big game as well and maybe we didn't, especially in the first half."

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