Kilkerley Emmets 2-15 Clan na Gael 1-12
Kilkerley Emmets gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding the drop to Division Two with a strong second-half display against Clan na Gael on Friday night.
Shane Lennon yet again inspired the Emmets to turn around five-point half-time deficit to run out comfortable winners, though Clan na Gael scored only one second-half point through substitute JJ Quigley.
Lennon hit 2-8 in showing a leadership streak similar to the one which inspired his side to the Intermediate Championship in 2015, where Clan na Gael were again the opposition.
The former Louth man got the scoring underway with two early points before the next six minors were shared as Kilkerley led 0-5 to three at the half's midway juncture.
Points from Billy Smith (3) and Micheál McDonnell nudged Mark McCann's men in front before Lennon struck the first of his goals, converting past Seán Smith at the second attempt having missed the original penalty kick.
But the Clans rallied once more after that with minors from Conall McKeever, Mark Newell (2) and Smith coming before McKeever found the net on the stroke of the interval. That score saw the Ecco Road men go to the break 1-11 to 1-6 ahead.
Lennon and Clans sub Quigley traded points on the restart, though the latter's effort was to be the Clans' final notch of the game.
Kilkerley hit 1-8 to no reply with Lennon's goal preceding points from Tadhg McEneaney (2), Daniel McKeown, Alan McGeough and three from Lennon himself.
Kilkerley Emmets: Darren Meehan; Niall Mulholland, Alan McGeough (0-1), Barra McCarthy; Rian Hand, Shaun McElroy (0-1), James Bellew; Ciarán Bellew, James Fegan; Daniel McKeown (0-1), Seán Hand (0-1), Connor Kirk; Tadhg McEneaney (0-4), Shane Lennon (2-8), Ciarán Clarke
Subs: Conal McEneaney for Kirk
Clan na Gael: Seán Smith; Ian Carr, Leo Martin, Donal Boyle; Kevin Carroll, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Michael McDonnell (0-1); Robbie Curran, Conor Noonan; Conall McKeever (1-2), Mark McGeown (0-2), Paul Crewe; Billy Smith (0-4), Mark Newell (0-2), Paul Gore
Subs: JJ Quigley (0-1), Ray McCabe, Stephen Coleman, Drew Duffy