Sunday's Allianz Hurling League round-up
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
MEATH 3-16 LONDON 3-10
KERRY 3-18 MAYO 0-9
WESTMEATH 1-17 ANTRIM 1-15
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
DOWN 1-16 WARWICKSHIRE 0-11
WICKLOW 2-14 DONEGAL 0-15
DERRY 0-21 KILDARE 1-16
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
ROSCOMMON 0-18 ARMAGH 1-11
MONAGHAN 4-12 TYRONE 2-13
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
LONGFORD 2-18 LEITRIM 0-16
SLIGO 4-19 CAVAN 2-6
Westmeath are very much in the driving seat in Division 2A of this year’s Allianz hurling league after they made the long trip to Corrigan Park in Belfast and came away with a 1-17 to 1-15 win this afternoon, making it three wins out of three this season and dealing a hard blow to Antrim’s promotion chances into the bargain.
The decisive spell in the game was just before half time when Westmeath scored 1-5 without reply to take a six-point lead into the interval. Derek McNicholas and Alan Devine shot two points each in that spell but the crucial score was a goal from Niall Mitchell, flicked to the net by the big attacker just over a minute after his introduction as a substitute.
Antrim were right back in it when Keelan Molloy goaled just three minutes after the restart and they drew level by the 40th minute, but scores from Shane Clavin, Killian Doyle and McNicholas wrapped up the win for Westmeath.
Kerry had it all their own way against Mayo in Tralee, running out 3-18 to 0-9 winners after building up a 15-point lead in the first half. Padraig Boyle and Michael Slattery combined to score 0-12 between them for the winners, who took full advantage of a ring-rusty Mayo side that had only played one game before today.
There is a real possibility that Kerry’s clash with Meath in the final round of games will be a straight shootout to see who plays Westmeath in the league final, after the Royal County negotiated a tricky contest with London at Trim. Fionn Ferguson (2) and Eamonn O’Donnchadh were their goalscorers in a 3-16 to 3-10 win, with the hard yards completed in the first half when they used the wind to build up a 2-13 to 0-5 interval lead.
Mark O’Dwyer netted twice and Colin Nelson added another as London rallied after half time and Meath goalkeeper Shane McGann was called on to make a number of crucial saves to preserve Meath’s win.
Derry picked up a huge victory in the top of the table clash in Division 2B, coming out 0-21 to 1-16 ahead at the end of a dramatic 70 minutes of action at St. Conleth’s Park in Newbridge.
Caolan Smith give Kildare an early lead with the game’s only goal but the Lily Whites never got going and were always hugely dependent on Brian Byrne’s freetaking to keep the scores coming. Byrne and Cormac O’Doherty of Derry shot ten frees each for their respective teams but in Alan Grant, Sé McGuigan and Richie Mullan, Derry had other forwards who were able to get the scores needed to secure top spot in the 2B league table.
There were no surprises in the other games in this division as Down picked up two points in Birmingham, Oisín McManus (1-2) and Paul Sheehan (0-5) their leading scorers in a 1-16 to 0-11 win, while Wicklow made hard work of it in Letterkenny, needing Eoin McCormack and Jonathan O’Neill goals to come from behind and beat Donegal by 2-14 to 0-15.
Roscommon are top of Division 3A thanks to an 0-18 to 1-11 win over Armagh in the Athletic Grounds. The Four Roads trio of Cathal Dolan (0-6), Shane Curley (0-3) and Padraig Kelly (0-3) led the way for Ciarán Comerford’s side as they struggled to shake off an understrength Armagh outfit. The hosts, despite missing a lot of their Keady and Middletown players, were well in the hunt throughout thanks to Danny Magee’s goal after 48 minutes.
The Castleblayney hurlers who went all the way to the All-Ireland junior final made their reappearance in the Monaghan colours this afternoon in Omagh, and they showed their value as the Farney County condemned their hosts to a first defeat of the season. There was only a point in it going into injury time but Cathal Power pointed and then Stephen Lambe hit the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give Monaghan a 4-12 to 2-13 win, keeping alive their hopes of a league final place, despite two defeats in their first two games.
On Saturday a late rally from Lancashire fell just short as they lost by two points to Louth at Abbotstown, 2-12 to 1-13, having trailed by eight midway through the second half.
Meanwhile in Division 3B, Cathal Mullane (penalty) and Reuben Murray were the goalscorers in Longford’s 2-18 to 0-16 win over Leitrim at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, and Sligo eased to a 4-19 to 2-6 win over Cavan.