THE SEMI-FINAL line-up for the Dr McKenna Cup was completed after tonight’s concluding round-robin games.
Section A winners Monaghan will meet Section B victors Down.
Tyrone topped Section C and will face Fermanagh, who were the best runner-up.
Both semi-final clashes are scheduled to take place next Sunday.
A strong second-half showing by Monaghan enabled them to pull clear of Fermanagh by 1-12 to 0-7 in Inniskeen tonight
Monaghan were ahead by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break but inspired by Paul Ward, who shot six points overall, Fermanagh fought back to trail by 0-6 to 0-5 during the second-half. But then Monaghan took over with Dick Clerkin and Paul Finlay amongst their point-scorers while Dermot Malone hit the goal that sealed their victory.
Donegal finally claimed their first win of the season by 1-14 to 2-10 against St Mary’s in Ballybofey tonight. Manager Jim McGuinness continued to experiment with Eoin McHugh, son of former All-Ireland winner James, amongst those handed a debut.
Donegal started brightly with Odhran MacNiallais finding the net but goals from Brendan Herron and Ronan Sexton saw the students lead 2-5 to 1-7 at the break. Yet the All-Ireland champions put together a string of points in the second-half to prevail by the minimum.
Paul McComiskey fired 1-5 as Down maintained their unbeaten record with a 2-11 to 1-10 win over Armagh in Páirc Esler in Newry tonight.
The attacker, who has had been plagued with injuries in recent years, helped Down lead by 1-7 to 0-4 at the break while Kevin McKernan raised their green flag.
Armagh fought back to only trail 1-8 to 0-8 during the second-half with Stefan Forker, who finished with 0-6, impressing. But Connaire Harrison, who shot 0-3 overall, pointed and then McComiskey found the net for Down.
Declan Carville chipped in with a late goal for Armagh, but Down held on for victory.
Tyrone completed their section with a 100% record as they claimed their third successive win on a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-9 against UUJ. The Red Hands had to cope with a spirited students challenge in the first-half and indeed UUJ lead by 0-6 to 0-5 after 27 minutes.
Tyrone had also seen Conor McAliskey miss a penalty but they were inspired by a goal from Sean Cavanagh in the 30th minute and then added four points without reply to lead 1-9 to 0-7 at the interval.
But Mickey Harte’s side took over in the second-half with Cavanagh increasing his overall tally to 1-5 and Martin Penrose ending up with 0-3 as they ran out 12-point victors.
In the other game in this section, it finished all square at 1-13 apiece between Derry and Antrim in Celtic Park. Antrim made the early running to lead by 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time with James Lavery striking their goal and they moved 1-10 to 0-5 clear after the break.
Yet Derry fought back with James Kielt popping up with superb points and Danny Heavron raising their green flag. And it was Gerard O’Kane who hit the last-gasp point that tied the match.
Antrim’s Paddy Cunningham and Carlus McWilliams and Mark Lynch. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty
Mayo claimed their first win of the 2013 season tonight with a comfortable 2-14 to 0-6 victory over GMIT in Ballinrobe.
James Horan saw his experimental side bounce back from last Sunday’s loss to Leitrim in a one-sided game where last year’s All-Ireland finalists lead by 1-9 to 0-2 at half-time.
Alan Freeman notched five points in the first-half for Mayo with Richie Feeney grabbing their goal. Two points from John Ryan was all GMIT could muster and they trailed by 1-9 to 0-0 at one juncture.
Mayo stayed in control in the second-half with Lee Keegan, deployed in the forward line tonight, making an impact as he finished up with three points.
And Conor O’Shea, younger brother of Seamus and Aidan, notched Mayo’s second goal to put them ahead by 2-13 to 0-2 and they held on at ease from there.