Ring and Rackard Cups round-up
By Colm Shalvey
Christy Ring Cup
Wicklow overturned their Allianz Hurling League defeat against Division IIB winners Mayo in Round 1 of the Christy Ring Cup Group 1 at Aughrim.
Wicklow were well on top on their way to a 0-13 to 1-5 half-time lead, with captain Warren Kavanagh a driving force for his side and Corey Scahill hitting the net to keep Mayo in contention. Andy O’Brien, Mikey Lee and Christy Moorehouse were in scoring form for Wicklow, who saw Seán Germaine came off the bench to hit the net and put nine points between the teams. Éanna Ryan got a late consolation goal for Mayo (minus dual star Keith Higgins), but Wicklow had done enough to claim the spoils on a scoreline of 1-20 to 2-10.
The other Group 1 game saw Kildare prove far too strong for Roscommon in Newbridge. Martin Fitzgerald grabbed both goals to lead Kildare to a commanding 2-12 to 0-6 half-time advantage and the one-way traffic continued on the resumption. Fitzgerald went on to complete his hat-trick and with Paul Divilly and Shane Ryan (who got the fourth goal) also on the mark, Kildare finished with 4-26 to their name while conceding just 1-10.
Down also ran up a big score in winning their Ulster derby against Armagh in Group 2 at Ballycran.
Down raced into a huge lead via goals from Declan McManus and the Sands brothers, Daithí and Eoghan. Nathan Curry and John Corvan provided some resistance from Armagh either side of half-time, but they had been reduced to 14 men early on and the game was soon put well beyond their reach. Daithí Sands went on to notch a hat-trick for Down, who ended up 6-21 to 0-11 winners over their neighbours, who finished with 13 players.
London held on to win after a thrilling finish against Derry at Ballinascreen.
Kevin O’Loughlin netted a penalty to help London to a 1-12 to 0-8 half-time lead, with Richard Murphy also prominent for the Exiles. Cormac O’Doherty, Chrissy McKaigue and goal-scorer Sé McGuigan inspired a spirited comeback from Derry, who moved ahead late on, only for London to respond with the last three points; earning them a dramatic 1-20 to 1-18 victory.
Nicky Rackard Cup
A dominant second-half performance saw Warwickshire repeat their Allianz Hurling League Division IIIA Final win over Louth in their Nicky Rackard Cup opener at Dowdallshill.
Paddy Lynch and goal-scorer David Kettle kept Louth (who were without Niall and Gerry Arthur) in touch in a first half that finished level at 1-9 apiece, but Warwickshire took charge after the restart. Warwickshire’s first-half goal came via a Shane Caulfield free, while Garry Lennon and Kelvin Magee added further majors. Dómhnall Nugent, Niall McKenna and Paul Hoban were also in fine form as the Exiles made a winning start on a 3-19 to 1-16 scoreline.
Monaghan also got up and running in Group 1 with a big win against Longford in Inniskeen.
Mark Treanor and Éamonn Collins starred for Monaghan, with the former drilling in 1-3 from midfield and the latter landing 1-7 from full-forward. The hosts led by 1-13 to 1-6 at the interval, despite conceding a late goal to Joe O’Brien, who flew the flag for Longford with a 2-3 tally. Monaghan took complete control going into the last ten minutes with quick-fire goals from Tadhg Campbell and substitute Brian McGuigan helping them make the final score 4-19 to 2-10, with all but two points of the winners’ total coming from open play.
Donegal continued their good form with a convincing win over Tyrone in Killyclogher to get Group 2 up and running. A Davin Flynn goal helped Donegal lead by 1-10 to 0-7 at half-time and although the accuracy of Damian Casey and a three-pointer from Bryan McGurk gave Tyrone some hope, the visitors pulled away. Flynn (1-5) and Declan Coulter (0-13) led the scoring as Donegal ran out winners by 1-26 to 1-12.
Christy Ring Cup Group 1 Round 1
Wicklow 1-20 Mayo 2-11
Kildare 4-26 Roscommon 1-10
Christy Ring Cup Group 2 Round 1
Derry 1-18 London 1-20
Down 6-21 Armagh 0-11
Nicky Rackard Cup Group 1 Round 1
Louth 1-16 Warwickshire 3-19
Monaghan 4-19 Longford 2-10
Nicky Rackard Cup Group 2 Round 1
Tyrone 1-12 Donegal 1-26