Hurling & Camogie

Antrim beat Kerry to keep their place in camogie top flight

Derry repeat their All-Ireland final win over Meath to keep 100 per cent win record

Armagh v Kildare
Armagh v Kildare Armagh’s Ciara Geoghgan surges forward as Kildare’s Sorcha Dolan closes in during Saturday’s game at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds Picture: John Merry (J_Merry)

DIVISION 1B, ROUND THREE

Antrim 2-15 Kerry 0-11

Down 0-6 Wexford 2-11

Dublin 1-14 Limerick 0-9

WINS for Antrim, Dublin and Wexford mean that the latter are more or less assured of a place in the Division 1B final, while the Saffrons have secured their position in this league for next year and either Down or Kerry will drop to Division 2A.

Antrim fielded a team with plenty of familiar names for the visit of Kerry to Randalstown and were a point up inside 30 seconds through Siobhán McKillop. Her cousin Anna added another from a free, but Kerry came back with points from Ellen O’Donoghue and a Jackie Horgan 45 to level.

They also recovered from a goal from Cassie McArthur in the 10th minute to go level seven minutes later with two points from half-back Clodagh Walsh, leaving the score 1-2 to 0-5.

However, the home side were the better team for the rest of the first half and led at the break by 2-7 to 0-8 with Anna McKillop claiming a goal and two points.

Antrim outscored the visitors by four points to two in the first 10 minutes of the second half with two of the scores coming from Annie Lynn.

From then until the end the Saffrons were fairly comfortable and used seven substitutes. Two of them, Dervla Cosgrove (two) and Elen McIntosh, tagged on points.

Down continue to struggle for results but will again have been pleased with the effort against Wexford at Ballycran. Saoirse Sands, Clara Cowan, Dearbhla Coleman, Beth and Emily Fitzpatrick were all prominent.

However, their visitors were very clinical in front of goals and led by 0-9 to 0-1 at the break with Ciara O’Connor scoring six times and Dearbhla Magee accounting for the only point for the home team.

Down scored twice in the third quarter to a point from O’Connor before Shelly Kehoe’s goal in the 47th minute opened the gap to 1-10 to 0-3.

Ten minutes later, Kehoe’s second goal sealed the issue and left Wexford with three straight wins and games against Kerry and Limerick ahead of them.

Limerick’s hopes of reaching the league final suffered a setback when they lost to Dublin, the goal coming in the 21st minute to give the Dubs a lead of 1-8 to 0-2 at the break.

DIVISION 1A, ROUND THREE

Cork 1-10 Tipperary 2-10

Galway 1-12 Kilkenny 0-9

Waterford 2-16 Clare 0-8

AFTER these results there are four teams level, separated only by scoring difference, at the top of the table.

A late goal by Eimear McGrath snatched a victory for Tipperary over All-Ireland champions Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn after they had led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.

Amy O’Connor, who top-scored for Cork with 1-6, hit a goal on the re-start and that score looked like winning the game until two late strikes, from Eimear McGrath and sub Niamh Treacy, turned the game in Tipperary’s favour.

Former Down player Sorcha McCartan contributed a point in each half.

Waterford bounced back from losing to Cork a fortnight ago by accounting for Clare at Fraher Field. They now lead the table on scoring difference.

A young Clare side were competitive in the first half, even after Máiréad O’Brien’s early goal. Déise net-minder Brianna O’Regan saved a penalty and her team led by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break.

Beth Carton, Bevin Bowdren and Tara Power, however, hit points early in the second half, while Niamh Rockett’s goal in the 40th minute ended any prospect of a comeback from Clare who are rooted to the foot of the table with games coming against Cork and Tipperary.

Galway also responded to defeat in round two with a 2-12 to 1-9 win over Kilkenny in Loughrea following a low-scoring first half that ended on 0-4 each.

However a Galway scoring blitz early in the second half yielded a goal and five points without reply. Aoife Donohue hit the goal with two points each from Siobhán McGrath and Niamh McPeake opening the gap to eight points.

Although Kilkenny responded with three points, including two from Asha Hardy, Galway pushed on in the last quarter to leave the last two rounds very interesting for everyone.

Division 2A, round three

Derry 1-12 Meath 0-7

Cavan 0-5 Offaly 3-22

Westmeath 2-9 Carlow 0-7

D

ERRY were comfortable winners in a re-run of last year’s All-Ireland intermediate final in Owenbeg on Saturday, Áine Barton’s goal from a penalty in first-half injury-time the key score.

Defensively, the home team were very sound with Niamh Quinn standing out in her new role as centre half-back. Áine McGill and Megan Kerr put in a good shift in midfield, while the forwards created over 25 chances, ending up with 1-12. Aoife Shaw put in a good shift up front as did Slaughtneil pair Olivia Rafferty and Bríd Rogers.

Derry hit the front with points each from Olivia Rafferty, Aimee Lennon and Dervla O’Kane before Amy Gaffney came back with two scores.

However, points from Lennon, Áine Barton (free) and Rafferty stretched the lead to three points heading into half-time.

Derry then won a penalty in the third minute of added time. Áine Barton confidently stroked it to the net and you felt that the 1-6 to 0-3 would be too much for Meath to haul back.

The Royals, though, did score three of the first four points of the second half through Aoife Carey (two) and Olivia O’Halloran to close the gap to 1-7 to 0-6. But Derry hit back with four scores in five minutes up to the 47th minute and the result was in the bag.

They didn’t add to their total after Aoife Shaw hit their 12th point in the 51st minute despite creating a number of openings and you would feel that this could be highlighted ahead of the visit to Offaly who beat Cavan in Corlough.

It was the second high-scoring win for the team relegated last year from Division 1B after they lost by a point to Westmeath in the opening round.

Westmeath were also comfortable winners over Carlow.

DIVISION 2B, ROUND FIVE

Cork 2-12 Clare 0-7

Kilkenny 2-10 Tipperary 0-16

Wexford 0-8 Galway 0-13

CORK will face Tipperary in the final on Saturday week after this final round of games.

At the other end of the table, Clare drop back down to Division 3B after just one season up. Kilkenny’s draw with Tipperary just lifts them out of a play-off.

DIVISION 3A, ROUND THREE

Armagh 0-11 Kildare 1-3

Roscommon 0-7 Laois 2-9

ARMAGH will face Rosommon and Laois will take on Kildare in the semi-finals on March 23. That was the overall outcome of the results in the group games on Saturday.

Armagh were in a commanding position when they led by six points at the break in the Box-It Athletic Grounds on Saturday after holding Kildare scoreless in the opening half. Ciara Geoghegan and Cara Crilly scored a point each and Rachael Merry hit the other four scores.

Even though Sara Lavin scored a Kildare goal within 60 seconds of the re-start and the Lilywhites remained on the attack for the next 10 minutes, Sinéad Quinn broke for a point for the home side and Merry added two further points from frees to restore their six-point advantage towards the end of the third quarter.

This was Armagh’s second home win and they would appear to have gained home advantage for the re-match with Roscommon, who fell to Laois. Both Laois goals came in the second half to earn the O’Moore county their third successive win.