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Allianz Football League: Fermanagh relegated to Division Three despite win over Cavan

Fermanagh's 2-14 to 1-13 win over Cavan on Saturday proved insufficient to preserve their Division Two status as Louth defeated Kildare 1-12 to 0-12 to condemn the Ernemen to relegation.

Sean Cassidy and Garvan Jones scored goals in either half for Fermanagh with Paddy Lynch the Cavan goalscorer.

Donegal saw off Meath 1-18 to 1-10 despite having Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh come off with injuries.

Donegal's Division Two final opponents Armagh drew 2-16 apiece with Cork.

The two Ulster counties had already secured their place in the decider next weekend before Saturday night's games.

Encouraging Fermanagh performance

Fermanagh will be encouraged by their victory over their Ulster rivals but their win proved in vain in light of Louth's success over already relegated Kildare.

Kieran Donnelly's men no longer had their fate in their own hands after they shipped six goals in losing to Louth last week and that heavy reverse proved crucial.

Jones scored 1-7 from play as he hit half of his side's total score and it was he who provided the sublime ball for Cassidy's first-half goal as Fermanagh went in 1-6 to 0-4 to the good at the break.

In the second half, Jones found the net, although Cavan threatened a comeback spearheaded by the talismanic Lynch.

His goal on 50 minutes left four between the teams but Fermanagh's Fionan O'Brien chipped in with a pair of points to keep the home side at arm's length.

Jones was flawless on the night and kicked over twice more in the closing stages.

Late Grugan goal helps Armagh earn draw

A late Rory Grugan goal helped Armagh fight back from four points down to claim a draw away to Cork, a result which preserved their unbeaten record in their Division Two campaign.

With little to play for, both sides let the shackles off and played out a high-scoring contest.

The Orchard County led 1-9 to 0-9 at the break, with Peter McGrane their goalscorer.

However, Cork controlled most of the second half, and led by four points late on following goals from Chris Óg Jones and Luke Fahy.

But Armagh kept fighting and Grugan found the net on 68 minutes, before the magnificent Oisin Conaty - who finished with 0-5 - kicked the leveller in stoppage time.

Donegal too strong for Cork

Ryan McHugh
Donegal's Ryan McHugh was forced to leave the field with an injury

Like Armagh, Donegal will go into next week's Division Two final on the back of an unbeaten league record thanks to their triumph over Meath.

Despite this game being something of a dead rubber with Donegal already promoted and Meath safe, Jim McGuinness opted to play the majority of his regulars to maintain momentum.

However, McBrearty pulled up after 20 minutes and McHugh was forced off after 46 when taking a hefty hit to the shoulder from Donal Keoghan that saw the Meath man cautioned.

Whether the pair are fit to face Armagh next week remains to be seen, but McGuinness will be happy with his team's performance on Saturday in difficult conditions as 10 different names got on the scoresheet.

Oisin Gallen landed four points with Jamie Brennan grabbing the second half goal to put the game away midway through the second period.

Meath couldn't have wished for a better start as Cathal Hickey blasted to the net just 20 seconds in, but they failed to build on it.

In fairness, conditions were extremely tricky for both with heavy downpours throughout the day leaving it slippery underfoot and the ball like a bar of soap.

Both missed a number of chances before Donegal finally got off the mark through Shane O'Donnell 13 minutes in and had goalkeeper Shaun Patton to thank for a point-blank save from James Conlon just seconds later.

The loss of McBrearty to injury was certainly a huge concern for the home support but he mood began to lift on the run to the break from the 23rd minute as they out-scored the visitors by nine to three to lead 0-10 to 1-3 at the break, aided by a trio points from Oisin Gallen whose third on 31 minutes drew reaction from Adam McDonnell who was black-carded for his troubles.

Donegal maintained the gap with McHugh, Aaron Doherty and Ciaran Thompson on target, but did lose McHugh to that injury.

Meath were hanging in, but it was game over after 52 as Doherty played a superb ball into Brennan who burst through, rounded Billy Hogan and finished to make it 1-13 to 1-5.

The sides hit five points apiece down the stretch and Donegal would finish with 14 following a 66th minute black card for Caolan McGonagle after a trip, but the issue was long since decided.