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Round-up: Weekend's Ring, Rackard, and Meagher Cup action 

Jack Sheridan remains a key performer for Kildare. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Jack Sheridan remains a key performer for Kildare. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups all got underway over the weekend.

Christy Ring Cup

Kildare made a winning return to the Christy Ring Cup away to Sligo on Saturday.

A high-octane start saw Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch hit the net for Sligo, only for Kildare to fire back with a brace of goals from Cathal Dowling. O’Kelly-Lynch finished with 2-6 to his name, but Sligo’s hopes of bridging a 10-point half-time gap weren’t helped by a string of wides. Jack Sheridan (0-7) and James Burke (0-5) kept the scoreboard ticking over for Kildare as they sealed a winning start.

London also had an 11-point winning margin when they travelled to Dungannon to face Tyrone on Sunday.

Ronan Crowley’s goal and Jack Goulding’s accuracy helped London get off to a strong start and they went on to lead by 1-10 to 0-6 at the change of ends. Owen Sheil added a second major after the restart as the Exiles extended their advantage to 15 points by the hour mark. Seán Duffin and Aidy Kelly hit consolation goals late on for Tyrone, but London remained well clear.

Derry completed a clean sweep for the away teams when they proved too strong for Wicklow.

Cormac O’Doherty hit six first-half points to lead Derry to a comfortable lead (0-10 to 0-4) and they were eight clear well into the final quarter until Wicklow eventually managed a flurry of scores to close the gap. Luke Evans and Luke Maloney helped give the 2023 Nickey Rackard winners some hope, but Pádhraig Nelis replied to ease last year’s Christy Ring runners-up to the finish line.

Nickey Rackard Cup

Roscommon got up and running in the Nickey Rackard Cup at home to Louth on Saturday.

An early goal by Conor Murphy proved to be a false dawn for Louth, who went on to trail by 0-15 to 1-3 at the interval after playing into the breeze. Brendan Mulry hit 1-5 from play for Roscommon, while Paddy Fallon landed eight points for the 2022 runners-up.

Donegal won their all-Ulster opener away to Armagh.

Alex O’Boyle netted early on for Armagh, but Gerard Gilmore and Liam McKinney helped to turn it around for Donegal, who led by 0-13 to 1-7 at the break. Armagh were reduced to 14 men during the second half and although O’Boyle’s 1-6 haul kept them in touch, Donegal pushed on in the end with points from substitutes Seán Ward and Peter Kelly, plus McKinney’s sixth from play.

Mayo sent out a statement of intent with a prolific second-half performance against Monaghan in Castlebar.

Goals from Niall Garland and Niall Arthur helped Monaghan lead by 2-5 to 0-9 after playing with the elements in the first half, but Mayo blitzed them thereafter, with nine players contributing to their tally. Seán Regan hit 2-2 to send Mayo on their way, while Cormac and Adrian Phillips and Shane Boland also weighed in with a string of scores for the Allianz League Division IIIA winners.

Lory Meagher Cup

Cavan began the Lory Meagher Cup with a home win over Warwickshire.

A topsy-turvy first half saw Cavan build up a five-point lead, only for Warwickshire to respond with an unanswered 1-5 in the last ten minutes, the goal arriving in added time from Luke Hands, giving the Exiles a 1-10 to 0-10 advantage. Both teams managed further majors within 10 minutes of the restart, with Nicky Kenny’s equaliser for Cavan being cancelled out by Jack Grealish. Cavan went on to hit nine of the last 10 points, with Nicky Kenny and Seán Keating helping them their fourth win from four on home soil this year.

Longford reversed their 2023 first-round loss to Lancashire in convincing style.

Despite Eoghan Clifford keeping Lancashire in touch early on, Cian Darcy hit 1-11 for a dominant Longford side, who added a second goal from David Buckley en route to a comprehensive win.

Fermanagh overcame a numerical disadvantage for a large chunk of their game away to Leitrim to seal an opening-day win.

Despite having Daniel Teague sent off, Fermanagh controlled the first half with the wind at their backs, keeping Leitrim scoreless. Stephen Goldrick hit the game’s only goal to give Leitrim hope, while Joe Murray notched 0-6, but Fermanagh’s impressive spread of scorers made the difference, with 12 players on target for the visitors. Fermanagh’s Dylan Bannon and Leitrim’s Michael O’Brien were both dismissed late on.


Saturday April 13

Christy Ring Cup Round 1

Kildare 2-19 Sligo 2-8

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 1

Roscommon 1-20 Louth 1-14

Donegal 0-22 Armagh 1-12

Lory Meagher Cup Round 1

Cavan 1-22 Warwickshire 2-13

Fermanagh 0-19 Leitrim 1-9

Longford 2-22 Lancashire 0-10

Sunday April 14

Christy Ring Cup Round 1

London 2-23 Tyrone 2-12

Derry 0-17 Wicklow 0-12

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 1

Mayo 4-24 Monaghan 2-8