Updated May 23rd 2021, 6:06 PM

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MEATH CLINCHED A Division 2 promotion play-off spot today while Clare took a major step towards the same stage in this afternoon’s football league action.

A second win for the Royals today as they overcame Down means they and Mayo are through from Division 2 North to the promotion play-offs, guaranteed of that qualification ahead of next weekend’s final games.

Clare are top of Division 2 South after beating Kildare and know avoiding defeat next Sunday against Cork will guarantee them a shot at reaching Division 1.

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Clare 1-13
Kildare 0-13

CLARE GAVE THEIR prospects of securing football league promotion to Division 1 a huge boost today as they fashioned a three-point victory in Newbridge against Kildare.

The Banner followed up last week’s opening win over Laois with a success away from home in this Division 2 South clash.

Joe McGann scored the only goal of the game in the second half while captain Eoin Cleary and experienced attacker David Tubridy struck vital scores. Cleary finished with 0-7 to his name while Tubridy chipped in with 0-3.

Eoin Cleary in action for Clare against Kildare goalkeeper Mark Donnellan.

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Kildare were left disappointed as they failed to build on last week’s opening triumph over Cork. Neil Flynn and Jimmy Hyland hit 0-4 apiece but they couldn’t raise a green flag like they managed twice against Cork and it was the Clare strike to the net that proved the difference.

The Lilywhites began brightly to lead 0-5 to 0-2 after 14 minutes but that advantage had not increased by the interval where they were in front 0-7 to 0-4.

And when McGann netted in the 50th minute, Clare had drawn level at 1-7 to 0-10. They kicked on with three successive points after that to move clear of Kildare.

The home team cut the deficit to a single point, 1-10 to 0-12, with eight minutes left but Cleary struck Clare’s final three points of the game to clinch victory.

Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 0-7 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), David Tubridy 0-3 (0-2f), Joe mCgANN 1-0, Gavin Cooney, Darragh Bohannon, Emmet McMahon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn (0-2f), Jimmy Hyland (0-1 mark) 0-4 each, Kevin Feely, Shane O’Sullivan 0-2 each, Darragh Kirwan 0-1.

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Ryan McEvoy in action against Fionn Reilly.

Source: Presseye/Philip Magowan/INPHO

Meath 2-15
Down 0-14

SEVEN POINTS WAS the difference between the teams at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, two goals from Meath attacker Cillian O’Sullivan paving the way for their victory.

Those strikes arrived in the second half and pushed Meath well clear after they had been in front 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval.

The winners were ahead 0-5 to 0-2 at the midway mark of the first half but Down fought back and did cut the gap to the minimum at one stage before half-time.

Then the encounter turned in Meath’s direction with O’Sullivan finding the net in the 42nd minute and repeating that feat in the 46th minute. Suddenly Meath were ten points clear and Down, who had to give up home advantage for this game following a breach of training regulations, couldn’t find a way back into contention.

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Scorers for Meath: Jordan Morris 0-7 (0-3f), Cillian O’Sullivan 2-1, C Hickey, Brian McMahon (0-1 mark), Eamonn Wallace, Matthew Costello, Andrew Colgan (0-1 ’45), T O’Reilly (0-1f), Ethan Devine (0-1 mark) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Down: Paul Devlin 0-5 (0-5f), Corey Quinn 0-4 (0-1f), Ryan McEvoy (0-1f), C McCrickard (0-1f) 0-2 each, Barry O’Hagan 0-1 (0-1f).

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Division 4

Antrim clinched a place in the promotion play-offs as they defeated Sligo 3-13 to 3-12 in a thrilling game in Belfast.

Paddy Cunningham hit the winning point in a game where early goals from Odhran Eastwood and Mark Jordan helped them push ahead. Sligo fought back with Niall Murphy netting a penalty to leave it 2-6 to 1-9 at the break.

Murphy, who finished with 2-5, scored another goal in the second half but was sent-off  after receiving a second yellow card. Eunan Walsh grabbed Antrim’s third goal, Nathan Rooney hit Sligo’s third goal and then Cunningham was the winner.

Mickey Harte saw his Louth team win 0-19 to 0-10 against Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon to secure their first league win, setting up a pivotal match for them next Sunday against Sligo.

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