Allianz HL D2 and D3 round-up
Saturday, February 15
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
Kerry 0-13 Meath 0-8
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Down 3-22 Warwickshire 2-8
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
Leitrim 0-13 Cavan 0-5
Sunday, February 16
*Allianz Hurling League Division D2A *
Wicklow 1-16 Mayo 1-13
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Roscommon 0-13 London 0-10
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
Donegal 2-9 Louth 1-10
Tyrone 2-17 Monaghan 1-7
Three days after he lit up the Fitzgibbon Cup final and played a key role in UCC’s win over IT Carlow, Shane Conway was again proving himself to be one of the brightest young attacking talents on the hurling scene as he shot seven points on an incredibly difficult afternoon for hurling in Trim.
Kerry’s 0-13 to 0-8 victory over Meath means that the Kingdom remain in the driving seat for a league final place in Division 2A of the National Hurling League, though it was only in the second half that they pulled away from their hosts. Deadlocked at 0-5 each after half time, Conway and Jack Regan traded scores after the interval but then Kerry kicked on with Jordan Conway, Padraig Boyle and Michael Leane all on the scoresheet.
Offaly’s clash with Antrim was postponed, so the only other action in the Division took place at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan, where Wicklow edged out Mayo by 1-16 to 1-13 in a contest that’s likely to have huge consequences in the relegation battle. Andy O’Brien struck 0-12 for Wicklow and helped to set up Enda Donohue’s goal that gave the Garden County a 1-9 to 0-6 interval lead.
Cathal Freeman fired in a penalty and Mayo followed up with two points to cut the gap to the bare minimum but massive second half performances from Danny Staunton and George B O’Brien ensured that the Leinster county picked up a vital win.
Storm Denis was in full force at Dr. Hyde Park where conditions were incredibly difficult for the clash of Roscommon and London in Division 2B. Cathal Dolan (Roscommon) and David Nolan (London) accounted for ten points each, with Roscommon’s Mickey Joe Egan and Shane Curley the only other scorers in a 0-13 to 0-10 win for the home side.
Sheer grit and determination were the order of the day, with Peter Kellehan, Hugh Rooney and Jason Kilkenny showing great leadership in defence for Roscommon as they tried to defend a six-point interval lead when hurling into the storm in the second half. Livewire attacker Mickey Joe Egan has been a real find for Roscommon manager Ciarán Comerford however and he shot two excellent second half points to keep their noses in front, though the home side also needed a goal-line block from Pádraig Kelly to preserve their win.
Down had more trouble with Warwickshire than some people might have expected when these two counties met in Ballycran on Saturday, as goals from Ian Dwyer and Willie Allen brought the Birmingham side back to within a point in the lead up to half time.
Ryan McCusker hit back in kind for the home side however and a string of points from players like Oisín McManus, Danny Toner and Chris Egan, not to mention a goal for Eoghan Sands after 44 minutes, meant Down ran out comfortable 3-22 to 2-8 winners, with Warwickshire failing to raise a flag after half time.
Derry vs Kildare fell victim to the storm, as did Fermanagh vs Sligo in Division 3B.
In Division 3A, Armagh and Longford are tied on top of the table after they played out an 0-9 each draw. Armagh have had the upper hand in this fixture in recent seasons but they were in real trouble when trailing 0-8 to 0-6 midway through the second half. Two frees from Dean Gaffney either side of a superb score from Daniel Connell edged them in front, but an injury time free from Daniel Connell gave Longford a deserved share of the spoils.
Damien Casey and Ryan Butler were the goalscorers as Tyrone kept themselves in the promotion hunt with a comfortable 2-17 to 1-7 win over Monaghan in Castleblayney, while Louth were undone by a last puck goal from Donegal in Darver, losing out by 1-10 to 2-9.