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Round-up: Weekend's Ring, Rackard, and Meagher Cup action 

James Burke was a key man for Kildare in their Christy Ring Cup victory over Wicklow. 

James Burke was a key man for Kildare in their Christy Ring Cup victory over Wicklow. 

The Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups continued over the weekend.

Christy Ring Cup

Derry stretched their unbeaten run to eight games when they overpowered Tyrone at Owenbeg on Saturday.

A dominant first-half performance from Derry set the tone, with Cormac O'Doherty getting good support in the scoring stakes from the likes of Darragh McGilligan, Corey O'Reilly and Ruairí Ó Mianáin. John Mullan and Dara Mooney hit the net to help Derry pull away from a Tyrone side who showed six changes from their Allianz Hurling League Division IIB Final loss to their neighbours last month. Aidan Kelly continued his prolific form with 0-11 for Tyrone, but that was all but two points of their total, while Derry had nine players on the scoresheet as they remained on course to reach what would be a third Christy Ring decider in four years.

London also have maximum points after a similarly comprehensive win over Sligo in Ruislip.

Jack Goulding finished with 2-13 to his name as London pushed on with a powerful second-half performance, having gone in level at the interval. Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch helped keep Sligo in touch early on, but London moved through the gears with two goals each from Goulding and Seán Glynn. Ronan Crowley also chipped in with four points for the Exiles as they went top of the table on score difference.

Kildare joined the other two front-runners on four points when they blitzed Wicklow in the second half on Sunday.

James Burke hit the net early on for Kildare, who went on to lead an understrength Wicklow by 1-11 to 0-8 by the end of the first half. Brian Dowling’s side upped their scoring rate after the restart, with further goals from Muiris Curtin and Dáire Guerin sealing what became a comprehensive win. Burke and Jack Sheridan led 12 scorers for Kildare, whose next game is a top-of-the-table clash at home to Derry.

Donegal hurler, Liam McKinney. 

Donegal hurler, Liam McKinney. 

Nickey Rackard Cup

Donegal are the pace-setters in the Nickey Rackard Cup after they claimed an impressive win at home to Mayo.

The teams were level at 0-11 apiece ten minutes into the second half, before Donegal moved through the gears to outscore the visitors by ten points to three down the home straight. Four pointed frees from Bobby Douglas made the goalkeeper Mayo’s top scorer on the day, while his opposite number, Luke White, hit a brace for Donegal. Gerard Gilmore and Liam McKinney once again led Donegal’s scoring with a combined 0-11 for the 2023 runners-up.

Roscommon also have two wins from two after they saw off Monaghan at Inniskeen.

Niall Arthur’s accuracy had Monaghan narrowly ahead for much of the first half, but Cian Murray hit the net to send Roscommon in leading by 1-9 to 0-10. Goals continued to make the difference for Roscommon, with Murray completing a hat-trick, either side of a Conor Mulry effort, as they pulled away.

Armagh got off the mark by pipping Louth on Sunday.

Alex O’Boyle pointed the way for Armagh, who led by 0-12 to 0-7 at half-time and remained three clear heading into the final quarter. A Darren Geoghegan-inspired Louth drew level twice in the closing stages, but a late penalty save by Fintan Woods proved crucial for Armagh, who retook the lead with O’Boyle’s ninth point in added time. It proved enough for Armagh to repeat their pivotal league win over their neighbours.

Cavan hurler, Nicky Kenny. 

Cavan hurler, Nicky Kenny. 

Lory Meagher Cup

Cavan and Fermanagh share top spot in the Lory Meagher Cup after they played out an exciting eight-goal draw in Enniskillen.

A first-minute goal for Caolán Duffy was cancelled out by Seán Keating, before Fermanagh’s Danann McKeogh hit the third major of a high-octane start. A string of scores from Nicky Kenny helped Cavan to a 1-12 to 2-5 half-time lead and with Jack Barry and Mark Moffett adding goals, they moved 11 points clear at one stage. Ryan Bogue, John Duffy and Adam McShea all hit the net to inspire a Fermanagh comeback and they even edged ahead late on through Seán Corrigan, only for Dillon Mulligan to rescue a share of the spoils for Cavan.

Leitrim finished strongly to see off Lancashire in another high-scoring duel at Glenavy in Antrim.

Conor Levingstone hit the only goal of the first half for Lancashire as they ended it on level terms. Joe Murray, Gavin O’Hagan and Martin Feeney kept Leitrim’s tally rising, but the Exiles remained with them score-for-score until the last few minutes. Quick goals from O’Hagan (penalty) and Murray saw Leitrim eventually move clear to stay in touch with the group’s early front-runners.

Warwickshire also got their first points of the campaign after a dramatic finish at home to Longford.

Cathal Mullane and Oisín Gately netted early in either half to put Longford in the driving seat to build on their opening win, but nine points from David Devine helped keep Warwickshire in touch. A David Buckley point edged Longford ahead again in added time, but they were hit by a late double-whammy, as goals from Kelvin Magee and Luke Hands won it for Warwickshire.


Saturday, April 20

Christy Ring Cup Round 2

Derry 2-26 Tyrone 0-13

London 4-26 Sligo 0-12

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 2

Donegal 0-21 Mayo 0-13

Monaghan 1-16 Roscommon 4-17

Lory Meagher Cup Round 2

Lancashire 1-20 Leitrim 2-25

Fermanagh 5-12 Cavan 3-18

Sunday, April 21

Christy Ring Cup Round 2

Kildare 3-27 Wicklow 0-14

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 2

Louth 0-17 Armagh 0-18

Lory Meagher Cup Round 2

Warwickshire 2-21 Longford 2-16