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Hurling

hurling

Round-up: The weekend's Allianz Hurling League D2 and D3 action

Kerry hurler, Shane Conway. 

Kerry hurler, Shane Conway. 

Division 2A Hurling

DOWN 1-24 KILDARE 1-24

On a day when there were a host of closely contested ties across several divisions of the Allianz Hurling League, a pristine playing surface at Ballycran and benign weather conditions across the Ards peninsula combined to deliver a wonderful encounter between Down and Kildare, which ended level.

Jack Sheridan’s first half goal gave Kildare a narrow interval lead but in a game where the lead changed hands several times, this game was always destined to go right down to the wire. Marc Fisher goaled for Down, but a run of scores from Declan Flaherty, Cian Boran and two placed balls from Sheridan edged the Lily Whites one in front.

A draw felt like the fairest result however, and that was the outcome once Pearse Óg McCrickard split the posts deep into injury time.

KERRY 3-14 MEATH 0-16

Every team in Division 2A now has at least one point on the board after Kerry welcomed back Shane Conway to their side and he helped power the Kingdom to a seven-point win over Meath at Austin Stack Park.

The Lixnaw maestro shot 1-9 in total, five in the first half when Kerry stuttered, eventually taking a narrow one-point lead into the dressing room.

Charlie Ennis made a couple of excellent saves in the Meath goal while Pádraig O’Hanrahan was a constant threat at the other end of the field, but eventually Kerry cut loose and got the goals that clinched their win.

Michael Leane kicked one after he claimed a mishit shot from Dan Goggin, Conway extended the lead with a classy finish after 63 minutes and Dan Goggin was the third man to hit the net, finding paydirt late in the game.

CARLOW 1-23 LAOIS 0-21

Carlow have one foot in the Division 2A Allianz Hurling League after they made the short trip down the road to Laois Hire O'Moore Park and came away with a vital five-point victory. Scott Tracey’s 23rd minute goal helped Carlow on their way in what proved to be the game’s defining score. The sides were deadlocked at 0-7 apiece before Tracey rifled home, after points from Chris Nolan, John Michael Nolan, and Marty Kavanagh (frees) helped Carlow to overcome a strong start from the home side. Laois dealt with the initial sucker punch in good fashion as they only trailed 1-12 to 0-11 at the interval.

However, the third quarter was where Carlow won this game, as they surged 1-20 to 0-13 clear after 55 minutes. Laois rallied well in the final quarter with Pickie Maher firing over his 200th league point to help reduce the arrears after the Carlow barrage with he and Enda Rowland from frees keeping their side interested.

Martin Kavanagh proved a steadying influence for the winners and despite three late scores from Paddy Purcell, a Fiachra Fitzpatrick point meant Laois were never able to get within touching distance as Carlow held on.

Division 2B

DERRY 1-27 LONDON 2-15

Derry’s impeccable form continued at Celtic Park today as they racked up 28 scores, 23 from play, in a comprehensive win over London.

Johnny McGarvey’s side made a very strong start to this game, moving 0-7 to 0-1 clear, but it was their response to the two London goals that really demonstrated their utter control of proceedings in this tie.

London recovered well from that slow start and even took the lead through Eoin McHugh’s goal after 20 minutes, but that felt like ‘poking the bear’ and Derry responded with six in succession.

Cahal Murray (1-4), Cormac O’Doherty (0-6, 0-5f), John Mullan (0-3), Paul Cleary (0-3) and Rúairí Ó Mianáin (0-3) all scored well for the hosts, while the visitors were heavily dependent on Jack Goulding (1-13).

Goulding’s goal arrived in the first minute of the second half when he blocked down a pass from Derry goalkeeper Eoin Mulholland, but again Derry’s response was outstanding, as they hit the next seven points in a row.

WICKLOW 1-15 ROSCOMMON 2-12

Wicklow appear to have finally put their turbulent start to the season behind them, now that Seanie Germaine’s late point gave them a share of the spoils against Roscommon at Aughrim, and a first league point of the year.

Wind-assisted, Roscommon moved 0-7 to 0-4 in front early on, but were reeled in by Gary Hughes’ goal for Wicklow.

Robbie Fallon found the net for the Rossies to make it 1-11 to 1-7 in their favour at half-time, but 21 minutes of the second half passed before the same player got his team’s next score, another goal.

Germaine’s freetaking and some good points from wing forward Dara Maloney gradually worked Wicklow back into the game, culminating in Germaine’s late equaliser.

TYRONE 1-17 DONEGAL 0-20

Tyrone and Donegal remain in mid-table in Division Three of the Allianz League with three points from three games played, after the two sides played out an entertaining draw at O’Neill’s Healy Park in Omagh yesterday afternoon. In a game where Donegal held small leads at various stages of the game but never had more than a goal to spare, it fell to Aidy Kelly to fire over his tenth point of the afternoon to ensure a share of the spoils.

Tyrone started well to lead by 0-4 to 0-2, but Donegal were the better side in the second quarter. Stephen Gillespie and Gavin Browne came forward to fire excellent scores while Gerry Gilmore also had a productive afternoon, moving the away side three points up before a couple of Lorcan Devlin scores made it 0-12 to 0-11 at the break.

Again Donegal appeared to be in decent shape when moving 0-14 to 0-11 and 0-16 to 0-13 ahead in the final period. However, Tyrone continued to battle manfully and a scrambled Seamus Sweeney goal put them back on level terms. Joe McToal nudged them in front, Donegal managed to wrestle back the lead but Kelly’s tenth score in the first minute of stoppage time left it all square at the death.

Division 3A

MONAGHAN 0-23 ARMAGH 0-20

Monaghan bounced back from last week’s traumatic defeat to Mayo with a hugely improved showing at St. Tiernach’s Park, as they overtook their neighbours at the foot of the Division 3A Allianz League table.

With the wind at their backs, Monaghan led by 0-13 to 0-8 at half-time, having registered 12 of their 13 points from open play. Thomas Hughes led the way from the scoring front with six from play, while Martin Murphy and Oran Kiernan gave the Farney men a solid base with strong showings at midfield.

In contrast, Armagh were heavily dependent on Alex O’Boyle’s free-taking, while Leo Moloney, who came on as an early replacement for the injured Niall Arthur, justified his playing time with eight dead ball scores, including a host of high-pressure strikes in the second half.

MAYO 2-17 CAVAN 1-12

Mayo have one foot in the Division 3A final after they made it three wins from three with a commanding win over Cavan at Castlebar.

Cavan’s competitiveness in this Division has been one of the feelgood stories of the year so far, but Mayo weren’t about to let the fairytale add another chapter. Michael Farrell found the net for Mayo in the opening minute, Liam Lavin added the first point of his 1-3 tally, and Daniel Huane and Adrian Phillips also added scores to make it 1-9 to 0-7 at half-time.

Nicky Kenny found the net for Cavan to hint at the possibility of an upset but Lavin’s goal in the 50th minute and points from Cormac and Adrian Phillips, Eoin Delaney and Seán Kenny made life comfortable for Mayo.

SLIGO 5-19 LOUTH 3-17

Four goals inside the first 15 minutes ensured that Sligo were always in control of their game at Dowdallshill today.

George Allen responded in kind for Louth when Thomas Cawley struck the opening goal of the game for the Yeats County, but Rory McHugh (a penalty), Conor Hanniffy and Gerard O’Kelly Lynch all found the net to push the lead out to double figures before the midway point of the first half.

O’Kelly Lynch got his second goal after half-time as he continued to work his way up to a 2-12 total, while Conor Murphy’s two goals at the end were of no consequence to the result, but only served to mitigate the damage done to the Wee County’s scoring difference.

Division 3B

LEITRIM 2-18 LANCASHIRE 0-17

Leitrim scooped a valuable win as a powerful start and a late goal helped them earn their first win of the league to date at Lancashire’s expense in Carrick-on-Shannon. The Connacht side enjoyed a ferocious start as they powered 1-7 to no score ahead inside the opening quarter against a Lancashire side that appeared flat footed in the early throes of the contest, with Conor Beirne registering the goal.

Lancashire gradually settled and once they managed to move the scoreboard, largely on the back of David Lynch’s frees, they began to cause Leitrim problems. The winners led 1-11 to 0-9 at the break but were outscored 0-9 to 0-5 in the final 20 minutes of the opening half. Finn Henry reduced that gap even further with the first score of the second half, but Leitrim managed to keep their opponents at arm’s length, finding life much easier after Lancashire’s Shane Nugent received a second yellow card. Evan Cox picked up a couple of points from play late on while Dahni Keane fired in their second goal in the 66th minute, briefly extending the lead to 10 points.

FERMANAGH 1-19 WARWICKSHIRE 2-5

Ten different players found the target as Fermanagh continued their winning ways at Brewster Park today. Warwickshire led 2-4 to 0-8 after 45 minutes, but a quickfire 1-1 from Tom Keenan helped the winners enjoy a degree of control. From the 45th minute until the conclusion of the contest, Fermanagh outscored Warwickshire by 1-11 to 0-1.

Fermanagh enjoyed an early two-point advantage but a Kelvin Magee goal helped Warwickshire edge in front during the opening quarter. Jack Grealish extended the lead to four but Fermanagh fired five on the spin to lead by 0-8 to 1-4 at the break.

David Devine netted for Warwickshire but Fermanagh’s greater scoring threats proved too much as the Ulster side scooped another win.