©INPHO/James Crombie

GAA Weekend: Mayo pay penalty to hand Kerry victory

We review the highlights and lowlights of this weekend’s National Football League action, including that bizarre penalty decision in Castlebar.

National Football League Division 1

Kerry 1-9 Mayo 0-8 All of the talk this morning is focused on the game in Castlebar. There was only a point between the teams when referee Maurice Deegan somehow deemed that Mayo keeper Robert Hennelly had fouled Kerry’s Darren O’Sullivan. Bryan Sheehan fired home from the spot and the game took on a very different complexion.

Dublin3-13 Cork 0-16 Two wins from two games – all of a sudden, it seems that the GAA should just postpone the Championship and award Sam to the Dubs now. There wasn’t a massive amount between the teams on Saturday evening, but Dublin were clinical, punishing the Rebels’ defensive lapses to score three crucial goals.

Down 2-11 Galway 1-9 Though an injury-time goal from Peter Fitzpatrick made Down’s victory look slightly more emphatic, manager Tomas O Flatharta knows that two losses from two games leaves his Galway side facing a relegation scrap.

Armagh 1-11 Monaghan 0-13 A late rally from Armagh was enough to give them a narrow win, with full-back Andy Mallon kicking the winning point late on.

National Football League Division 2

Meath 1-12 Sligo 0-8 By the time Cormac McGuinness was sent off late on at Pairc Tailteann, Meath were already so far out of sight that they weren’t troubled by the numerical disadvantage.

Derry 0-13 Kildare 0-11 Derry scored an important win over Division Two rivals Kildare, with corner-forward Conleth Gilligan kicking seven points during the course of his man-of-the-match performance.

Laois 1-12 Antrim 0-10 Laois certainly didn’t make life easy for themselves at O’Moore Park yesterday. Midfielder Brendan Quigley was dismissed early in the second half, but the hosts hung on for a five-point win.

Donegal 1-10 Tyrone 0-6 A disciplined performance from the Donegal back seven limited Tyrone to just two points from play at Healy Park yesterday.

National Football League Division 3

Wexford 1-12 Offaly 0-11 Wexford were quickest out of the traps in Tullamore yesterday, putting seven points on the board before Offaly managed their first, a lead which was sufficient to see them over the line.

Waterford 2-8 Limerick 0-8 Two goals from Mark Ferncombe was the difference between the sides at Fraher Field this weekend.

Louth 1-12 Tipperary 1-10 Late points from Paddy Keenan and Mark Brennan were enough to give Louth the points in a tight game in Drogheda.

Westmeath 0-12 Cavan 1-9 Both sides got their first points of the league campaign, though Westmeath will be left to wonder what might have been after a late brace from Gearoid McKiernan snaffled a draw for Cavan.

National Football League Division 4

Leitrim 3-19 Kilkenny 0-0 Nada. Zero. Zilch. Zip. The scoreline in this one speaks for itself.

Roscommon 2-13 Carlow 0-8 An early goal from Michael Finneran got Roscommon off t0 the perfect start as they brushed Carlow aside at Dr Hyde Park.

Longford 1-8 Fermanagh 0-5 Solid kicking from the Longford forward line was enough to see them past Fermanagh at Brewster Park.

Wicklow 2-22 London 1-4 Wicklow underscored their promotion prospects with a convincing win over London, goals from Leighton Glynn and Sean Furlong proving to be the icing on the cake.

Winners of the weekend

The Dublin County Board. Say what you like about their decision to rebrand Dublin’s league campaigns as the “Spring Series”, it’s hard to argue with a crowd of 35,000 on a February evening in Croker.

Fortunately for them, I’ll save my comments on Jedward for another day.

Losers of the weekend

Kilkenny’s footballers. For the first time ever in the history of the league, a team failed to score a single point. Oh dear.

Controversy of the weekend

Referee Maurice Deegan’s decision to award a game-changing penalty in Castlebar yesterday. Mayo manager James Horan felt it should have been a free-out if anything. I can’t say I disagree with him.