Conor Woods struck the only goal in Ballycran from a penalty.
Conor Woods struck the only goal in Ballycran from a penalty.

Allianz HL D2/D3 Roundup: Ulster counties top the heap all round

Allianz Hurling League Roinn 2A Results

Meath                1-21 2-21           Carlow

Kildare               0-14 1-22           Westmeath

Down                  1-19 0-20           Kerry

A fourth win in five games means that Down secured the top spot in Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League and with it passage through to the league final, while Kerry will have to travel to Westmeath to see who takes on the Mourne County, following this weekend’s games.

After making the long trip up to Ballycran, Stephen Molumphy’s Kerry side played with the wind in the first half and started to move through the gears in the second quarter, with Shane Conway, Micheál Leane, Pádraig Boyle and Paudie O’Connor on the mark as they moved 0-14 to 0-8 in front by the interval.

The game swung decisively Down’s way after half time when Eoghan Sands fielded a high ball and drove through on goal, only to be dragged down by Conor O’Keefe, who received a black card for the incident.

Conor Woods found the net with the penalty and by the 55th minute, Down were level through a Paul Sheehan free.

Kerry dug in throughout the final quarter to keep it tight, but Oisín McManus was on target with two late dead ball scores to clinch the win.

Westmeath needed to pick up a win in Kildare to secure their slot in the playoffs and keep their chances of an immediate return to the top flight, but they were in trouble early in the game at St. Conleth’s Park, when Jack Sheridan, Gerry Keegan and Johnny Byrne helped the Lily Whites into an 0-7 to 0-2 lead.

A red card for Keegan in the 15th minute transformed the game and while Kildare still led by two points at half-time, in no small part due to Paddy McKenna’s penalty save, Westmeath took over in the second half and were comfortable by the time Cormac Boyle scored the game’s only goal with five minutes remaining.

Meath will play Division 2B hurling in 2023 after Chris Nolan’s late goal, his second of the game, gave Carlow a 2-21 to 1-21 victory over the Royals at Páirc Tailteann. Mart Kavanagh scored 0-12 from dead balls, 0-15 in all for Carlow, who led for most of the game but struggled to shake off a stubborn challenge from the home side.  

Allianz Hurling League Roinn 2B Results

Derry                  0-25 0-9              London

Wicklow             3-17 3-17           Sligo

Mayo                  1-13 2-17           Donegal

London put in arguably the best 35 minutes of their season so far as they got to half-time at Celtic Park on level terms with Derry, 0-8 apiece. The free-scoring Oak Leafers kicked into another gear in the second half however and cruised to a fifth successive victory in this year’s Allianz League, meaning they await the winners of the league semi-final between Donegal and Sligo.

Sligo got the draw they needed in Aughrim, but they did so despite throwing away an 11-point interval lead.

Gerard O’Kelly Lynch got them off the mark with a fine early goal, Andrew Kilcullen added another in between a series of dead ball points, and Finian Cawley booted in a third to make it 3-10 to 0-8 at half time.

However the contest changed utterly after the break, when Wicklow fired in two goals through Kieran Conway and John Toomey, and that kept them close enough to strike late. An injury time point from John Doyle and another Conway goal left it all square at the final whistle, 3-17 apiece.

Mayo will now face Wicklow in a relegation playoff on the back of a 2-17 to 1-13 defeat to Donegal at James Stephens Park in Ballina. There was nothing really stake for either team but Donegal brought a bit more zest to the table in the second half, Davin Flynn scoring a momentum changing goal as part of a 1-9 tally for the Tipperary native.

Danny Magee shot a first quarter hat-trick in Birmingham this afternoon.
Danny Magee shot a first quarter hat-trick in Birmingham this afternoon.

Allianz Hurling League Roinn 3A Results

Warwickshire 0-18 5-18 Armagh

Roscommon 2-24 1-15 Monaghan

Tyrone 3-16 2-13 Louth

All three games in Division 3A went according to form, with Tyrone, Roscommon and Armagh picking up comfortable wins. Tyrone’s substantial scoring difference advantage meant they needed to simply make sure of victory against Louth at O’Neill’s Healy Park, but it wasn’t plain sailing for the Red Hand men.

A Louth goal at the start of the second half meant the Wee County were seven points in front at that stage but six points in a row from Tyrone, three from Casey and two from CJ McGourty, were followed up by a Bryan McGurk goal and a quickfire 1-1 from Tiernan Murphy, leaving Louth shell-shocked.

Roscommon were never in trouble against Monaghan at Dr. Hyde Park, and goals either side of half-time from Brendan Mulry meant they lead by 2-17 to 0-8 early in the second half. Four more points extra onto the margin would have seen them overtake Tyrone and take the top spot in the Division, but Thomas Hughes’ goal for the Farney men ensured a much more moderate 12-point win for the home side.

Meanwhile Armagh wasted no time in making sure of their win at Páirc na hÉireann, as Danny Magee fired in a hat-trick of goals either side of another green flag from Eoin McGuinness in the first quarter of their contest with Warwickshire.

Nathan Curry was the other goalscorer in a handy 5-18 to 0-18 win for the Orchard men, who will have to travel to Roscommon for a league semi-final.

Allianz Hurling League Roinn 3B Results

Leitrim 1-16 2-15 Fermanagh

Cavan 0-9 2-14 Longford

There were no surprises in Division 3B of the Allianz Hurling League, where Fermanagh edged out Leitrim to take top spot in the group, with Longford picking up the win they needed in Cavan to wrap up a semi-final spot.

Emmet Corrigan and Johnny Casey were Longford’s goalscorers in a 2-14 to 0-9 win at Kingspan Breffni Park, while Seán Corrigan added a 48th minute goal at Avant Money Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada to help Fermanagh edge past the home side, 2-15 to 1-16.