Down, Fermanagh, London and Kildare record emphatic opening wins in Tailteann Cup

May 11, 2024

Kildare's Paddy Woodgate celebrates ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Down got their Tailteann Cup campaign off to a smooth start by handing Limerick a 1-20 to 1-6 defeat at Pairc Esler, Newry.

Conor Laverty’s charges had bossed large portions of the first-half as they ran up a 0-9 to 0-1 lead by the 27th minute and went on to hold a six-point advantage at the break.

The early stages of the second-half saw Eamon Brown and Peter Nash trade points at each end ahead of a goal from Daniel Guinness on the hour mark putting the game to bed for the Mourne men.

In Ballinamore, Andy Moran's Leitrim side got themselves up and running in the competition with a 0-17 to 0-12 win over Waterford.

Only Darragh Rooney’s point late in the first-half would separate the teams at half-time as the hosts took in a 0-9 to 0-8 lead. After that, Moran’s men would hit the first six scores of the resumption to take control and see out the win, with ‘keeper Nevin O’Donnell sailing over four 45s throughout the second period.

Fermanagh were relentless in bagging their opening win as they saw off Oisin McConville’s Wicklow by 3-16 to 0-9 in Enniskillen.

Sean Cassidy’s goal six minutes into the restart put the Ernesiders into a 1-10 to 0-5 lead and Conor Love would come off the bench to hit the net twice as the Garden County would lose by 16 points in the end.

Kildare also hit the net three times in their opening assignment as they crushed Longford by 3-25 to 1-11 in Hawkfield.

After a nightmare league campaign and Leinster SFC semi-final defeat to Louth, the Lilywhites seemed out to lay down a marker early in this one. They’d run up a 0-10 to 0-3 lead before Paddy Woodgate lashed in their first goal on 25 minutes and more majors from Woodgate and Paddy McDermott would see them recording a resounding 20-point victory.

In Markievicz Park, Sligo produced the goods in the second-half to overcome Wexford’s challenge (2-21 to 2-15).

An early goal from Mikey Gordon for the home side was cancelled out by Dylan Furlong as Wexford went on to edge a 1-8 to 1-7 interval lead thanks to Sean Nolan’s point.

Alan McLoughlin’s goal early in the restart saw the Yeats men regain control and, from there, the points of Paddy O’Connor, Sean Carrabine and McLoughlin would help see them over the line.

Earlier in the day, London commenced their campaign with a shock 2-20 to 0-11 win over Offaly in Tullamore.

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