ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE ROUNDUP
CARLOW 3-22 MEATH 1-16
LAOIS 3-22 KILDARE 1-20
DOWN 2-23 KERRY 1-19
South Leinster neighbours Laois and Carlow are in firm control of Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League after round two, following comfortable wins for both sides in provincial derbies this afternoon.
Laois made the short trip to Hawkfield to play Kildare and while second half goals from James Duggan, Mark Dowling and Stephen Bergin ultimately settled the tie in their favour, it was in the second quarter when Willie Maher’s side really established a winning position.
With a strong wind at their backs, James Burke and Jack Sheridan struck five points between them as Kildare took an 0-7 to 0-2 lead with a quarter of an hour played.
However Laois responded well, hitting several frees while Jer Quinlan continued his good form with a couple of nice scores, and it took a late Cian Boran point to give Kildare an 0-14 to 0-13 interval lead.
That was never likely to be enough, and two crucial swing moments after half-time – a save from Enda Rowland to deny James Burke, then Dowling’s goal at the other end – set Laois well on the way to victory.
Carlow will also carry solid form into their trip to Portlaoise on Saturday week, after they made short work of Meath at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Chris Nolan struck six from play for the home side, including a couple of early scores, but the Dolmen County were pegged back by a Nicky Potterton goal after 12 minutes that tied the game, 0-5 to 1-2.
Their response was emphatic, as they fired 2-9 before half-time to establish a ten-point interval lead. John Michael Nolan and Marty Kavanagh got the goals with Kavanagh and Chris Nolan racking up the white flags.
The second half was a much more pedestrian affair, with Conor Kehoe’s outstanding finish for a third Carlow goal the main highlight.
Kerry looked to have put their first round defeat to Carlow behind them when they got out to a fast start against Down at Ballycran in the only game in the Division played yesterday, building on Michael Leane’s early goal and making the most of most of the breeze behind them with a run of excellent points.
Star forward Shane Conway was absent but the Kingdom still looked sharp up front, accumulating a 1-15 to 0-11 interval lead – however one score just before the break, hoisted over by Fionán Mackessy from just outside his own ‘D’, illustrated the strength of the wind.
If Kerry were in any doubt, Down wasted no time in transforming the contest after the break, scoring 2-8 without reply. Daithí Sands and Danny Toner grabbed the goals, and with Kerry in desperate need of something to give them a way back into the game, Stephen Keith’s save to deny Maurice O’Connor’s penalty was the end of their hopes.
TYRONE 0-20 ROSCOMMON 0-11
DERRY 2-20 DONEGAL 0-19
LONDON 3-30 WICKLOW 1-20
Four teams are tied on two points after the three Division 2B games played over the weekend, and two of those are Tyrone and Roscommon, following the Red Hand County’s win at Omagh in the fixture between the two counties today.
Tyrone were always in front but they struggled to shake off Roscommon in the opening half. Mickey Joe Egan shot four first half points to keep the Connacht county in touch, 0-8 to 0-6 behind after half an hour, but four points in a row from the home side gave the scoreboard a very different look at the break.
Ten of the first 12 points of the second half also went Tyrone’s way, with Aidy Kelly racking up 0-10 on the day for the winners.
The scores came thick and fast at McGovern Park in Ruislip where London bounced back from last week’s defeat at Athleague. Jack Goulding fired 3-11 in total for Neil Rodgers’ side while Seán Glynn (0-5) and Niall Broderick (0-4) also had productive outings.
After kicking off their 2024 Allianz campaign with one local derby win over Tyrone, Derry made the short trip over to O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny and made it two from two yesterday afternoon at the expense of Donegal, but it was another encouraging performance from the Tír Chonaill men, who came in on the back of a commanding victory over Wicklow in round one.
Gerry Gilmore was the leading scorer for Donegal as they moved five points clear by the midway point of the first half, but with the breeze set to favour Derry after half-time, they needed to extend that further. Instead a Dara Mooney goal before half-time tied up the game, and points from Rúairí Ó Mianáin, Cahal Murray, Corey O’Reilly and Darragh McGilligan helped Derry score seven unanswered.
Donegal rallied briefly but a second goal, this time from Murray, ensured a seven-point margin of victory.
ARMAGH 1-15 SLIGO 2-12
MAYO 5-20 MONAGHAN 0-9
CAVAN 3-19 LOUTH 1-19
Alex O’Boyle’s late free, bringing his total for the day to 1-9, left Armagh and Sligo level at the long whistle in Crossmaglen and rounded off a solid second half display from the Orchard County.
O’Boyle, who hurls with Oisín’s Glenariffe in Antrim, has been an eye-catching addition to the Armagh panel this year and he showed his talent with an excellent catch and finish for an early goal.
Conor Hanniffy cancelled out that goal with one of his own and Sligo added to that with five points in a row to establish a 1-9 to 1-4 interval advantage.
Armagh were the better side for long stretches of the second half with Paul Gaffney and Fionntán Donnelly (0-3 each) helping out O’Boyle on the scoring front, but a second goal for Hanniffy ensured Sligo still held the lead going into the closing minutes, before O’Boyle’s equaliser.
It was one-way traffic in Castleblayney in the other fixture played in Division 2B this afternoon, with Adrian Phillips bagging a hat-trick and Cormac Phillips shooting 1-7 in a comprehensive win for Mayo over Monaghan.
Cavan’s late surge wasn’t quite enough to get them a result in Markievicz Park last week, but they carried that momentum into their home field of Kingspan Breffni Park yesterday and picked up an excellent win over Louth. Two first half goals from Matthew Hynes were followed by a third two minutes into the second half from Liam O’Brien, which briefly put Cavan seven points to the good.
Darren Geoghegan added a goal to his seven points as he led the Louth fightback, but Cavan held firm before striking the last two points to seal their win.
LONGFORD 2-21 WARWICKSHIRE 1-15
FERMANAGH 1-26 LEITRIM 1-5
It was level games all round in the opening round of games in Division 3B, but this afternoon saw things unfold very differently at Ballinamore and Glennon Brothers Pearse Park. Michael Mulcahy struck two goals in the first half to help Longford out to an eight-point interval lead over Warwickshire, and despite Jack Grealish finding the net for the Exiles in the second half, Longford finished strongly with six out of the last eight points to ensure a commanding victory.
The local derby in Ballinamore was even more one-sided, where Fermanagh had ten scorers, Jimmy Tormey the one who found the net, in a comfortable win.