Allianz HL D2A, 2B, 3A, 3B round-up
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A: Antrim 1-16 London 0-17, Kerry 3-15 Meath 0-8, Westmeath 2-12 Mayo 0-6
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B: Wicklow 2-16 Derry 0-16, Donegal 5-18 Warwickshire 0-17, Kildare 0-13 Down 1-6
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A: Lancashire 2-13 Roscommon 0-6, Monaghan 1-11 Louth 1-10, Tyrone 3-16 Armagh 1-16
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B: Fermanagh 1-14 Cavan 0-5, Sligo 3-13 Longford 0-3
Division 2B of the Allianz hurling league was where the real drama was this afternoon as Wicklow, Derry, Down and Kildare all went into their head to head clashes with a place in the league final there to be won.
In the end it was Wicklow and Derry who earned the chance to contest the league decider after the day’s action.
Wicklow made the long trip to Ballinascreen to play the Oak Leaf county and they were by far the more impressive side in the first half, taking a 1-9 to 0-4 lead into the dressing room thanks to a goal from Andy O’Brien and three other points, all scored in the space of five minutes before the break. O’Brien was later sent off in the game and some excellent freetaking from Richie Mullan kept the Ulster county in the hunt, but Eoin McCormack’s late win wrapped up a 2-16 to 0-16 win for Wicklow.
That result meant that Derry needed a favour from Kildare at Newbridge and they got it as the Lilywhites beat Down in snowy conditions, 0-13 to 1-6.
Donegal will meet Warwickshire in the relegation final next weekend and Donegal will be the strongest of favourites for that one after they won today’s dead rubber tie between the teams, 5-18 to 0-17. Ronan McDermott, Lee Henderson, Paddy Hannigan and Kevin Kealy (2) were the goalscorers at O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny.
There was nothing left to be decided in Division 2A, where Kerry crushed Meath at Fitzgerald Stadium 3-15 to 0-8. Jordan Conway, Padraig Boyle and Jordan Brick fired in late goals to put distance between the sides in snowbound Killarney, while wintry weather was also a factor in Mullingar where Johnny Bermingham and Derek McNicholas raised the green flags in Westmeath’s 2-12 to 0-6 win over Mayo.
Conor McCann’s goal was the key score in Antrim’s 1-16 to 0-17 win over London, the other tie in this division that took place today. Westmeath will meet Kerry in the league final here, while Mayo and London will contest relegation.
In Division 3A, Lancashire’s 2-13 to 1-6 win over Roscommon didn’t change the fact that Lancashire will be relegated while the Rossies will play the league final, and there was nothing at stake for either of the participating counties at Darver, where Tadhg Campbell drew Monaghan level with a late goal and then Mark Treanor shot the winner to give the Farney men a 1-11 to 1-10 win over Louth. The result was a huge one for Armagh and Tyrone however, as it pushed Armagh into the League final at the expense of their neighbours.
Damien Casey – who finished with a total of 1-11 - Matthew Mulgrew, and Bryan McGurk got the goals at Omagh in Tyrone’s 3-16 to 1-16 win between the two rival sides, leaving them tied on six points. Tyrone would have advanced if their head-to-head win was the deciding factor, but Monaghan’s late surge left all three teams on six points, so Armagh’s superior goal difference proved to be their trump card.
Finally in Division 3B, Fermanagh beat Cavan 1-13 to 0-6 while Sligo went to Longford and easily brushed aside an understrength Longford team by 3-15 to 0-3, though it’ll no doubt be a different story when they meet again in the league final next weekend.