Round-up: Sunday's Allianz HL D2B, 3A, 3B action
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Derry 2-16 Kildare 3-13
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B relegation play-off
London 1-20 Warwickshire 0-5
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A Final
Donegal 1-18 Armagh 0-19
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
Sligo 3-21 Fermanagh 0-14
Declan Coulter played a key role for his adopted county of Donegal as they secured the Allianz League Division 3A title thanks to a two-point win over his native Armagh.
The Orchard County prevailed when these two sides met in the round robin stages, but Donegal have gathered momentum over the course of the season and they carried that form into today’s game, bursting out of the blocks with an early goal from Gerry Gilmore, finished off after some good work by Bernard Lafferty set up the chance.
Gilmore and Joe Boyle added points to push Donegal 1-3 to no score ahead early on as the Tír Chonaill men tried to cash in on their strong wind advantage, though they also need a great save from Luke White to keep them in front.
Nathan Curry and Dean Gaffney tried to lead a fightback from Armagh but Donegal’s defence held out well and they led by six at the interval, 1-10 to 0-7.
Gaffney and Aaron Fox pointed early in the second half to shift the momentum of the tie and it seemed as if Armagh were the side in control when they got back to just one point adrift midway through the half, but Donegal held firm and late scores from Coulter – who ended the day with 0-10 – and substitute Sam Doherty wrapped up a two-point win for Donegal.
Conor Kelly was the hero for Derry in a pulsating clash at Celtic Park, as his late score salvaged a draw against Kildare, securing their place in the Division 2B league final at the expense of their opponents.
Kildare travelled north needing a win and it looked like they were in the form to get just what they needed as Jack Sheridan took the fight to the home side in the opening half, even as they played into the wind. Cormac O’Doherty goaled for Derry after six minutes but Sheridan replied with two green flags in response, and the Lilywhites held that lead until late in the first half. The sending off of centre back Ross Kelly knocked them on their heels however and in soft conditions, the free-taking of O’Doherty and Sheridan became the main feature of the game.
With tensions rising, Odhrán McKeever and Brian Byrne traded goals before Kildare edged in front going into stoppage time. They couldn’t close it out however, as a superb score from Kelly gave Derry the point they needed.
Without ever catching fire, London did enough to preserve their Division 2B status as they easily accounted for Warwickshire at McGovern Park in Ruislip, where the only goal of the game came from substitute Cian Lordan.
Jack Goulding and David Nolan struck some superb points in a low-key first half that saw London go in 0-10 to 0-3 in front after playing with the wind, and Kevin McMullan’s side were able to go through the motions after half time against a Warwickshire side that have really struggled at this level in 2020.
Sligo will go into next weekend’s Division 3B final against Leitrim as warm favourites after they extended their run of wins with a comfortable victory over Fermanagh at Irvinestown. The home side needed to record a landslide win against the reigning Nicky Rackard Cup champions to sneak into the decider, but that was never likely as goals from Kieran Prior, Rory McHugh and Kevin Gilmartin backboned a Sligo win that saw 11 different players get on the scoresheet for the county.