Allianz HL D2A, 2B, 3A and 3B round-up
By Kevin Egan
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
WESTMEATH 1-20 KERRY 0-16
CARLOW 0-20 MEATH 1-13
LONDON 1-19 KILDARE 0-15
Westmeath and Carlow are the last counties standing in the race to join the big guns after wins over Kerry and Meath this afternoon wrapped up their place in the Allianz League Division 2A hurling final. Alan Devine was in superb form for Westmeath at TEG Cusack Park as he posted an individual tally of 1-10 in their 1-20 to 0-16 home win over Kerry.
A disallowed Padraig Boyle goal proved crucial in the first half as the midlanders took a 0-10 to 0-9 lead into the dressing room, and there was still a point in it when Devine fired home from close range early in the second half, giving Westmeath breathing room that they retained to the end.
Three men were sent off in Trim as Carlow edged out Meath by 0-20 to 1-13, with Carlow’s extra man throughout the second half hugely significant.
The away side led by just a single point when Keith Keoghan was red carded deep into first half injury time, but with James Doyle and Chris Nolan scoring well, Carlow pulled away and were comfortable by the time Anthony Forde blasted in the game’s only goal after 63 minutes.
Darragh Kelly (Meath) and John Michael Nolan (Carlow) were the other players who received their marching orders, both for the same incident in second half injury time.
Eleven points for Richie Murphy and a goal from Colin Nelson were crucial as London preserved their Division 2A status with a 1-19 to 0-15 win over Kildare at Ruislip on Saturday. The Lily whites will hurl in Division 2B next year after recording their fifth win in five starts.
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
DOWN 3-19 MAYO 0-15
DONEGAL 2-17 ARMAGH 1-17
WICKLOW 3-15 DERRY 2-13
Either Mayo or Down will replace the Lilywhites in Division 2A, following Down’s 3-19 to 0-15 win over the Connacht county at Portaferry. Mayo’s place in the league final was assured already and they fielded a weakened team here, falling ten points behind after 20 minutes. Padraig O’Flynn’s red card took any remaining bite out of the game and Down cruised to victory.
Ex-Armagh player Declan Coulter struck two goals for Donegal and condemned his native county to a relegation playoff as the Tir Chonaill men registered a 2-17 to 1-17 win in their Ulster derby clash at the Athletic Grounds, and Armagh will be joined in that basement battle by Derry, who ended a dismal campaign with a 3-15 to 2-13 defeat to Wicklow at Aughrim.
Warwickshire will be the clear favourites to go up from Division 3A after they easily overcame Roscommon by 1-23 to 3-10 at Dr. Hyde Park, while Louth’s 1-13 to 1-13 draw with Monaghan means that the Wee County secured the other top two slot.
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
TYRONE 2-21 LONGFORD 1-14
LEITRIM 6-21 CAVAN 3-7
SLIGO 2-4 FERMANAGH 0-9
Tyrone beat Longford by 2-21 to 1-14 to join Louth on six points but their head to head defeat means they will spend at least one more year in division 3A.
Finally, the Division 3B final will be between Lancashire and Leitrim. Leitrim had no difficulty picking up the two points they needed against Cavan at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, running out 6-21 to 3-7 winners. Sligo just missed out despite ending their campaign with a 2-4 to 0-9 win over Fermanagh at Lisbellaw.