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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mayo forced to work hard by Monaghan

Division 1 leaders Mayo got out of jail against Monaghan at Castlebar yesterday with a 2-12 to 0-15 victory over the Farney men.

The visitors led 0-3 to 0-0 and 0-9 to 0-3 before Donal Vaughan's goal cut the margin to two points at the break.

Monaghan then moved six clear but Aidan O'Shea's 49th-minute goal got Mayo back into the contest. The home side showed greater accuracy in the final quarter as Seamus McEnaney's side missed vital chances.

Monaghan appeared to have re-established control after the break as three Paul Finlay points and a Conor McManus effort increased the lead to six.

But Mayo were back in the game after an Enda Varley point was followed by O'Shea's vital goal. Points from Conor Mortimer, Kevin McLaughlin and Ronaldson then edged Mayo 2-8 to 0-13 and the home side maintained their lead to the finish, helped by scores from Tom Parsons and Andy Moran.

The defeat leaves Monaghan on four points alongside Tyrone and Kerry, ahead of their daunting trip to Tralee on 11 April.

Defeat in that game will consign Monaghan to relegation to Division 2 -- if Tyrone either draw or beat Dublin at Healy Park.



Tenacious Tyrone leave it late to kill off Kerry

Tyrone's last gasp win over Kerry in Omagh has given them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation. Colm Cavanagh punched home a sensational winning goal in stoppage time to give Mickey Harte's side a one point victory, 1-11 to 1-10.

With 'head-to-head' results counting if two teams are tied at the conclusion of the group stages, Tyrone couldn't afford to find themselves isolated with Monaghan as score difference, the normal determination in these situations, wouldn't count.

Tyrone played most of the second half with 14 men after Cathal McCarron's second yellow card for a second foul against Colm Cooper. Only Aidan O'Mahony's high challenge around Conor Gormley's neck that merited a straight red six minutes from time balanced the books.

And they never threw in the towel, always pressing, always probing. They got what their persistence merited.



Counihan plays down Rebel win over Derry

CORK manager Conor Counihan was seriously downplaying his side's 2-9 to 0-14 win over Derry at Celtic Park on Saturday night.

Maybe it was because the Rebels had to hang on at the end of game where goals from John Hayes and Fintan Goold blasted them into an early lead, but downbeat didn't do justice to Counihan's post-match assessment of his players' performance. "I don't think too many fellas came out happy with their performance. In some ways that's a positive, because people know they have to work that bit harder," he said.

Even when assessing the prospect of a league final place, Counhian still declared himself dissatisfied with the inconsistency of his side, who have won five from six in the top flight. "It would be a big bonus to get to a final -- we went through 31 players which is a positive. But I'm disappointed with the consistency of our performances, though that's maybe down to chopping and changing," he said.

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