Allianz HL D2 and D3 round-up
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
London P - P Mayo
Westmeath 4-13 Kerry 2-17
Antrim 3-13 Meath 2-15
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Down 1-23 Wicklow 0-14
Derry 3-18 0-12 Donegal
Kildare 8-19 0-6 Warwickshire
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
Tyrone 2-23 1-11 Louth
Roscommon 1-21 0-14 Monaghan
Armagh 2-14 0-12 Lancashire
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
Sligo 2-14 Leitrim 0-19
*Fermanagh P - P Longford *
On an afternoon when some fantastic games were played all across the country, with the games in Ennis and Carlow dominating the headlines, the action in Division 2A was right out of the top drawer with Westmeath and Antrim securing vital away wins in their bid to secure a place in the top tier next season.
Westmeath travelled to Kerry for a top of the table clash in Tralee and struggled to keep pace with the home side in the first half, with Shane Conway scoring 0-5 for the Kingdom. Paddy Carroll was the key man for the Lake County as he saved a penalty and made a number of crucial stops, while a crucial break went the way of his team when Shane Clavin’s long ball sailed into the Kerry net to cut the gap to two points, 0-11 to 1-6, at half time.
A goal for Mikey Boyle meant that as the game went into the final quarter, Kerry still led by five points, but Derek McNicholas, Cormac Boyle and Robbie Greville all found the net in that time to edge the midlanders in front. Shnane Conway netted to draw the sides level on the cusp of full time, but in a whirlwind finish, late points from Killian Doyle and Cormac Boyle gave Joe Quaid’s men the points.
James McNaughton was the hero for Antrim as his point with the last puck of the game gave the Saffrons a 3-13 to 2-15 win over Meath at Trim. Meath had the better of the first half but still trailed by a point, 3-5 to 0-13, the Antrim goals coming from McNaughton, Eoin O'Neill and Ciaran Clarke.
A Damien Healy goal kept Meath in touch as Antrim piled on the points through McNaughton and others in the second half, and when Jack Regan blasted a free to the net in the second minute of added time, it looked as if they had snatched a point.
Instead referee Sean Ryan deemed that there was time for one more play, and McNaughton made it count.
The action in Division 2B was far less competitive, with Down, Derry and Kildare all recording comfortable wins. Kildare were first in action on Saturday and they made light work of Warwickshire in Newbridge, Brian Byrne scoring 3-14 in their 8-19 to 0-6 win.
Paul Sheehan, Daithí Sands and Conor O’Prey were all on target as Down put in the hard yards in the first half against Wicklow at Aughrim, building up a nine-point interval lead. Christy Moorehouse led the fight for the home side in the second half but Down always had enough in the tank and Sands’ late goal gave them a 1-23 to 0-15 win.
It was the other way around at Ballinascreen, where Derry changed ends just 0-9 to 0-8 ahead of Donegal, but Niall Ferris, Alan Grant and Mark McGuigan goaled in the second half to give Derry an easy 3-18 to 0-12 win, Declan Coulter scoring 0-9 out of Donegal’s tally.
In Division 3B, Roscommon, Armagh and Tyrone are all deadlocked on four points after they cruised to victory by 10, eight and 15 point margins respectively.
Padraig Kelly set up Cillian Egan for the only goal at Dr. Hyde Park where the Rossies beat a Monaghan team that continues to struggle without their club-tied Castleblayney contingent, 1-21 to 0-14.
Armagh had a bit more to do in Crossmaglen against Lancashire, only pulling clear in the last quarter to win by 2-14 to 0-12, While Damien Casey (1-10), Ryan McKernan (1-4) and Tiernan Morgan (0-4) all had productive afternoons in Healy Park as Tyrone beat Louth by 2-23 to 1-11.
In division 3B, the only fixture was at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada where Tony O’Kelly Lynch and Gary Cadden scored the goals that gave Sligo the bragging rights over Leitrim by the narrowest of margins, 2-14 to 0-19.