Round-up: Weekend's Allianz HL D2A, 2B, 3A, 3B action
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
Meath 1-17 Mayo 0-18
Antrim 2-20 Kerry 2-14
Offaly 4-29 Wicklow 2-19
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
London W/O Warwickshire
Down 0-19 Kildare 1-14,
Derry 0-16 Roscommon 0-10
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
Donegal 0-19 Longford 0-13
Monaghan 3-12 Louth 1-10
Armagh 3-16 Tyrone 0-25
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
Sligo 4-18 Cavan 3-10
Leitrim 2-13 Lancashire 1-11
Antrim secured a hugely valuable six-point win over Kerry in Tralee this afternoon, pushing them to the top of the table.
The Glensmen had seven different scorers from play in the first half while playing with the wind, but still struggled to shake off the mumps-stricken home side, and a goal from Jordan Conway would have left the Kingdom nicely poised, just 0-12 to 1-6 adrift. A goal from Domhnall Nugent gave them a more substantial lead to defend, however, and just when it looked as if Kerry were inching their way back into contention, Conor McCann rattled in a second goal after 55 minutes to see Antrim over the line.
Kerry now face an anxious wait for next weekend’s refixed game in Tullamore, where they need Antrim to take points off Offaly. From Antrim’s perspective, anything better than 36-point defeat will see them through to the decider.
Offaly did their scoring difference no harm at all this afternoon in Bord na Móna O’Connor Park when they cut through Wicklow with ease in the second half.
It was a very different story early on when Andy O’Brien led the way for Wicklow as they came from 0-3 to 0-1 behind to lead by 0-8 to 0-4, albeit aided by a strong wind. Thomas Geraghty’s goal and the last three scores of the half from Colm Gath, Geraghty and David Nally edged Offaly in front by half time however and Michael Fennelly’s charges moved through the gears in the second half with Colm Gath, Peter Geraghty and Jason Sampson their goalscorers. Eoghan Cahill ended the day with 0-17 for the winners, who will hope to make it three wins on the spin next Sunday in Tullamore.
Mayo needed a 22-point win over Meath at Navan to avoid relegation and that was never going to happen, but going into stoppage time they did lead by 0-17 to 0-14 in their bid for a first victory.
Heartbreak was to be their lot however as Jack Regan netted a penalty for the Royals and the hosts had further points from Padraic O'Hanrahan (two) and Damien Healy to snatch a two-point win.
Two points each for Conor Woods and Oisín McManus in the closing stages of Down’s clash with Kildare at Liatroim mean that the Ulster county have locked down their place in this year’s Allianz League Division 2B final, with Kildare and Derry now set to face off in what is effectively a semi-final clash at Celtic Park next Sunday afternoon.
Brian Byrne, Jack Sheridan and James Burke were all on the mark as Kildare moved 0-8 to 0-4 ahead in the early stages of today’s game, but points from Danny Toner and Ronan Costello cut the gap to two by half time, and the home side took control of the third quarter and hit the front.
A goal from Shea Ryan rocked them back on their heels however and it looked as if Kildare were set to snatch the league points before Woods and McManus pushed Down over the line.
Derry remain top of the table, unbeaten in four games, but their relatively poor scoring difference means they still need to take at least a point from their clash with Kildare.
They had Cormac O’Doherty to thank for their six-point win over Roscommon in dismal conditions at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan. O’Doherty shot 0-12, including nine frees and one sideline cut, with the best of his hurling done in the second half when Derry built on their 0-8 to 0-4 interval lead to move nine points clear, before late points from Peter Kellehan, Cillian Egan and top scorer Cathal Dolan brought Roscommon’s tally to double figures.
Armagh have Danny Magee to thank for their place in this year’s Division 3A final, after he split the posts in the third minute of stoppage time at the Athletic Grounds to give his side a crucial point in their clash with Tyrone.
That draw, combined with Donegal’s win over Longford, means that Armagh and Donegal will fight it out for promotion in next weekend’s league final.
Magee also fired in two fires half goals, either side of a Dean Gaffney penalty, to keep Armagh in the hunt while Tyrone were very much on top. Damien Casey piled on the points for Tyrone as they took a 0-16 to 3-5 lead into the dressing room and after a nip and tuck second half, it looked as if Casey had secured the win when he put Tyrone in front after 71 minutes, only for Magee to secure the all-important equaliser.
Declan Coulter, Lee Henderson and Sam Doherty were all in good scoring form for Donegal as they secured the 0-19 to 0-13 win they needed against Longford at Longford Slashers GAA club, while Monaghan struck two late goals to take the honours in the relegation showdown at Inniskeen Grattans, where they ran out 3-12 to 1-10 winners over Louth.
Barring a shock in next weekend’s game at Enniskillen, the Division 3B final will be contested by Sligo and Leitrim. Kieran Prior got Sligo’s first goal at the Kingspan Breffni 3G pitch but Cavan replied through a Josh Crowe goal, and when Brian Fitzgerald pointed after 25 minutes, the sides were tied at 1-7 each in a game that Sligo were expected to win easily.
Points from Keith Raymond and goals from Finian Cawley and Rory McHugh powered a run of 2-6 without reply for Sligo before half time, and they cruised through the second half, with their win well-secure before Brian Fitzgerald and Jack Barry got late Cavan goals.
Meanwhile at Abbotstown, Colm Moreton and Gavin O’Hagan scored a couple of points each as Leitrim came from a draw game at the three-quarter mark to secure a five-point win over Lancashire.