Round-up: Allianz HL D2A, 2B, 3A, 3B
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
Meath 2-25 Wicklow 3-13
Antrim 4-19 Mayo 0-7
Kerry 2-11 Offaly 0-14
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Down 3-23 Roscommon 0-11
Derry 4-15 London 2-18
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
Longford 1-15 Louth 1-10
Armagh 3-25 Monaghan 1-10
Donegal 2-23 Tyrone 1-15
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B:
Cavan 0-17 Fermanagh 0-12
Kerry and Antrim are very much in the driving seat for league final places in Division 2A after they picked up key victories in home fixtures this afternoon.
The clash between Offaly and Kerry at Austin Stack Park in Tralee was the headline fixture in the division, a repeat of the Joe McDonagh cup clash that led to Offaly’s relegation last year, and the early evidence suggested that the Faithful County were on course to secure a measure of revenge. Eoin Cahill shot six frees as they moved 0-10 to 0-3 clear, though Colum Harty’s goal in first half injury time changed the landscape of the tie.
Again Offaly got out to a decent start after half time but the concession of a second goal to Jordan Conway and then a red card for Cillian Kiely left them with an uphill battle and Kerry powered on well, holding the visitors scoreless to win by 2-11 to 0-14.
Antrim had the easier fixture on paper, hosting Mayo at Loughgiel, but they were still hugely impressive and cruised to a 4-19 to 0-7 victory over the Connacht County.
Alex Delargy was the first half goalscorer as they took a 1-9 to 0-2 interval lead, with Delargy, Dan McCloskey and Niall McKenna all raising green flags after half time.
Meath remain in the hunt in the Division as well as they bounced back from their first-round defeat to Offaly with a home win over Wicklow, 2-25 to 3-18. Andy O’Brien and Eoin McCormack rattled in first half goals for Wicklow and when McCormack posted his second after 53 minutes, Wicklow and looked well-poised for an upset.
Meath settled about their work however and shot 11 of the next 12 points, with Padraig O'Hanrahan bringing his total to 0-16 for the afternoon.
Down moved through the gears after half-time in their Division 2B clash with Roscommon at Ballycran, turning a five-point interval lead into a landslide 3-23 to 0-11 victory. Oisín McManus racked up 1-12 in total, 1-5 from play, and his first half goal edged the Mourne county in front of a game Roscommon side, but the second half was another world as Eoghan Sands and Chris Egan added the goals in a 2-14 tally for the period.
Goals from Sé McGuigan and Eoghan Cassidy helped Derry to move 14 points clear of London in the second half of their clash at Ruislip, but the Exiles finished the game incredibly well, firing 1-8 without reply to reduce the gap to a single goal at the end. 4-15 to 2-18 was the final result in this fixture at McGovern Park. Kildare’s trip across the Irish sea led to a much more comfortable outing, with Brian Byrne (2-7) top-scoring for them in their 5-19 to 0-1 landslide win over Warwickshire at Páirc na hÉireann on Saturday.
Eoin McGuinness (2) and Marty Mone were the goalscorers as Armagh continued to set the pace in Division 3A, a 3-25 to 1-10 victory over Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds sending out a clear statement of intent as to their prospects in this division.
Longford didn’t accumulate quite as big a margin against Louth, though their 0-12 to 0-3 interval lead suggested that a big win might be in store. Instead they stepped off the gas a little and cruised to a 0-15 to 0-10 victory.
Donegal took a huge step back in the right direction with a 2-23 to 0-15 win over Tyrone at Omagh, PJ McCarron and Dylan Duffy finding the net for them in each half, while in Division 3B Cavan edged a close game with Fermanagh at Kingspan Breffni, 0-17 to 0-12, following on from Sligo’s 3-18 to 1-15 win over Lancashire on Saturday.