THE Dr McKenna Cup began on Wednesday night with three group games to get the county scene up and running for 2023.
Conor Laverty got his Down senior manager career off to a winning start with a 2-10 to 0-12 win over holders Monaghan in Castleblayney.
Andrew Gilmore’s 15th minute goal had Down 1-6 to 0-6 ahead at half-time before Odhran Murdock hit the second to the net two minutes after the restart.
Tyrone got off to a winning start at home to Fermanagh on a 0-17 to 1-7 scoreline.
The Red Hands led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break with Ultan Kelm scoring Fermamagh’s goal with three minutes of normal time remaining.
Armagh were 2-20 to 2-8 winners over Antrim in a high-scoring encounter in the Athletic Grounds.
Conor Turbitt had the ball in the net after just six minutes to put them 1-2 to 0-0 ahead.
Armagh led 1-10 to 0-4 by half-time before Joe Sheridan added the second goal for Kieran McGeeney’s side.
Odhran Eastwood scored both Antrim goals, but late Stefan Campbell and Niall McConville points capped off a home win.
The competition continues on Sunday with Fermanagh hosting Derry, Cavan take on Antrim in Portglenone while Down host last year’s beaten finalists Donegal in Páirc Esler.
All game will take place at 1.30pm. The final group games take place next Wednesday with the top team in each section joined by the best runner up in the semi-finals.