There were wins for Cork, Antrim, Down and Longford on Saturday but the day belonged to London, who recorded their first Championship win in 34 years.
All-Ireland Football Qualifiers Round 1
London 0-15 Fermanagh 0-9 A strong first-half display – the Exiles were 0-9 to 0-1 ahead at the interval – set up London’s first win since 1977 and though the Ernesiders were much more competitive in the second period and managed to reduce the deficit to four points, London were resolute and held on for a famous win. Scores from Ciaran McCallion, Killian Phair and Cathal O’Sullivan settled the encounter, suggesting that London’s strong showing against Mayo in the Connacht Championship was more than a once-off display.
Clare 1-12 Down 1-13 All-Ireland finalists Down survived a massive scare in Ennis to keep their Championship hopes on track. Clare hit five points in a row to level matters going into added time and only a late Paul McComiskey free separated the sides at the final whistle.
Antrim 0-16 Westmeath 1-7 Antrim’s footballers came back from conceding an early goal against Westmeath at Casement Park to win their first-round qualifier in style. The Lake County couldn’t take advantage of their promising start but Antrim reacted well and led 0-8 to 1-3 at the break. Westmeath did level matters in the second half but, despite the introduction of Dessie Dolan, the Saffrons had enough to hold on.
Wicklow 1-18 Sligo 0-16 Mick O’Dwyer’s men are into the second round of qualifiers after a well-organised win over Sligo. There was little between the teams throughout until a goal from substitute Conor McGraynor well into the second half proved crucial.
Cavan 0-11 Longford 2-16 Better shooting from their forwards this time out saw Longford ease by Cavan without too many problems at Breffni Park. Separated by only a point at half-time, the visitors went ahead through two Sean McCormack frees and after Paul Barden goaled following more good play, the contest was effectively over.
All-Ireland Hurling Qualifiers Phase 1
Cork 2-17 Offaly 2-16 Offaly left Páirc Uí Chaoimh with plenty of regrets on Saturday, losing out to the Rebels by a single point in the Hurling Championship. Joe Dooley’s men had a tally of 16 wides and even scored a late goal against 14 men to leave the minimum between the sides. However, there wasn’t enough time to score the additional point their efforts deserved.
Cian McCarthy hit an early goal for Denis Walsh’s men but if supporters thought their team would have an easy stroll from there, they were mistaken. Pa Cronin was shown a straight red in the 20th minute for an off-the-ball incident, while Cork keeper Donal Óg Cusack pulled off a handful of excellent saves to keep the Leinster men at bay.
Cork led by a goal at the break and extended their advantage to five points heading into the final minutes. Offaly’s late three-point score came from the hurley of Shane Dooley but it was not enough to halt the home side’s progress to the next round on July 19th.
Antrim 0-23 Carlow 1-12 Nine points from Neil McManus were the difference between Antrim and their opponents in this encounter. The sides were level at 0-9 apiece at the break and while the score line remained relatively close throughout the second period, the Saffrons had just enough between McManus and his colleagues to stay ahead.
Laois v Tipperary, 7pm
Louth v Meath, 7pm
Offaly v Monaghan, 7pm
Mayo v Galway, 2pm
Carlow v Wexford, 2pm
Donegal v Tyrone, 3.30pm
Dublin v Kildare, 4pm