Armagh and Donegal return to Division 1 while Kildare suffer drop

March 16, 2024

Cavan's Brían O'Connell tackles Greg McCabe of Armagh ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Armagh and Donegal ensured themselves an immediate return to the Allianz Football League’s topflight for next year after each recorded their fifth wins in Division 2 this evening.

Kieran McGeeney’s men were in relentless form as they blew away Cavan with a 2-21 to 0-12 victory at the Box-it Athletic Grounds, where goals from Peter McGrane and Conor Turbitt (penalty) sent the hosts towards a commanding 14-point lead at the half.

The one-way traffic continued after the change of ends as the Orchard County kicked on for a 15-point win in the end, killing off their opponents' own shot at promotion in the process.

In Netwatch Cullen Park, Jim McGuinness’s Donegal side put themselves in the Division 2 decider against Armagh on Easter Sunday at Croke Park by relegating Kildare on a 0-17 to 1-8 scoreline.

Kevin Feely’s scores had kept the winless Lilywhites within touching distance at the halfway stage (0-8 to 0-6), but the scores of Daire O Baoill, Paddy McBrearty and Michael Langan coasted the Ulster side five clear early in the restart.

Alex Beirne got a 48th minute goal for Kildare to bring it back to within two but they wouldn’t score again after that, as Peader Mogan’s late brace and a point from Oisin Gallen (mark) helped to ensure the Tir Chonaill men’s win and consign their counterparts to Division 3 for 2025.

Meath's Adam O'Neill with Brian Hurley of Cork during the NFL Division 2 clash at Pairc Tailteann

Cork secured their Division 2 status for next season earlier in the day thanks to a 1-15 to 1-11 win against Meath in Navan.

The sides had been all square at the break (0-7 to 1-4) before Meath fell behind in the third quarter and then hit the front thanks to Matthew Costello’s goal.

From there however, the Rebels were able to get it level and eventually move in front with Luke Fahy’s point which was backed up by more scores from Steven Sherlock (2), Mattie Taylor and Mark Cronin to secure their team’s third win on the bounce.

In Ardee, Louth took what could be a crucial step towards safety by thrashing Fermanagh on a 6-17 to 0-11 scoreline.

Ger Brennan’s side got an early goal from Sam Mulroy in this one and never looked back, as Peter Lynch, Mulroy, Conor Grimes, Ciaran Downey and Tom Jackson added goals to complete the rout which leaves them a point above the drop zone with one round left.

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