Allianz HL D3: Roscommon and Cavan top their tables
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION THREE RESULTS
ROSCOMMON 1-19 MONAGHAN 0-14
ARMAGH 3-17 FERMANAGH 3-16
MAYO 5-20 LOUTH 0-15
Roscommon and Monaghan have both reached the knockout stages of Division 3A of the Allianz Hurling League, but it’s the Connacht County that will take the most momentum into those playoffs after they comfortably outplayed their hosts at Clontibret this afternoon, while Armagh scraped home by the skin of their teeth in the face of a late Fermanagh surge.
An impressive ten-minute burst immediately after half-time was the vital period of the game in Monaghan, as Roscommon racked up five points unanswered while hurling into a strong breeze, leaving a misfiring home attack with far too much to do.
Both sides struggled for accuracy early on, with Roscommon scoring 0-3 from their first nine attempts on goal, with Monaghan registering just 0-1 from six opportunities.
Some good scores from Naos Connaughton, Eoin Fitzgerald, Eamon Flanagan and Mickey Joe Egan saw the scoreboard finally get moving, while Conor Mulry pounced on a spilled puckout from Monaghan corner back Cathal McAnespie to set up Brendan Mulry for a close range goal, but after establishing a commanding seven-point lead, Roscommon allowed Monaghan back into the tie before half-time.
Niall Arthur and Thomas Hughes found the target with some very impressive points, and a score of 1-10 to 0-8 at half-time felt quite even, given the strength of the wind that was set to favour the home side after half-time.
Roscommon produced their best hurling after the interval, with 19-year-old man of the match Paddy Fallon leading the way. The Oran youngster struck four of the first five points of the second half and ensured an easy finish for the winners.
In a topsy-turvy game just a few miles down the road in Middletown, a goal from Seán Corrigan and a string of outstanding scores from Luca McCusker helped Fermanagh to control the second quarter and take a 1-12 to 0-9 lead into the dressing rooms at the interval.
Yet Armagh seemed to have things all their own way after half-time as Peadar McBride and Danny Magee (twice) hit the Fermanagh net, and with Fionntán Donnelly back on form from frees after a disappointing outing a week ago in Dr. Hyde Park, they moved seven points clear going into stoppage time. Even after Conor Reneghan received a red card for the hosts, it seemed for all the world as if they would cruise to a win, but two late Fermanagh goals almost derailed the home side.
A comprehensive win for Mayo over Louth at Darver means that Fermanagh drop to Division 3B next year, as they needed Paul McCormack's side to pick up a win in the event of their own defeat.
That was never likely as Mayo were comfortably the better side. Adrian Philips was the first goalscorer after 21 minutes, Eoin Delaney quickly followed up with the first of his two green flags, and just before halftime Phillips finished off a fine team move.
Conor Murphy, Aaron McGuinness Smith and Darren Geoghegan stuck three points to make it 0-9 to 3-5 at half-time, but they never raised a gallop as Mayo fired 2-15, with Delaney and Joe McManus the goalscorers.
LEITRIM 0-10 LONGFORD 0-9
LANCASHIRE 5-20 WARWICKSHIRE 1-15
There was no real bite in either of the Division 3B games played this afternoon, as it was already known that regardless of results today, Leitrim would play Longford in the semi-final, with Cavan guaranteed their place in the final. Consequently it was a drab affair in Drumshanbo where a late Joe Murray point gave Leitrim a narrow win, while at Páirc na hÉireann, three goals from Conor Madden and two from Ray McCormack, all in the second half, ensured Lancashire finished the league with two wins from four starts.