National Hurling League round-up: Wins for Tipperary, Kilkenny & Limerick
NATIONAL HURLING LEAGUE
Tipperary 2-16 Clare 1-11
SÉAMUS Callanan hit 2-7 to secure an opening night win for Liam Sheedy's men in Semple Stadium on Saturday.
Tipperary led by 0-9 to 0-2 after 28 minutes, when the impressive Colin Guilfoyle was fouled by Cathal Barrett and Niall Deasy stepped forward and blasted a penalty into the bottom left-corner for Clare.
Tipperary took over after the break and sealed the win when Callanan hit 2-1. He pointed a free before Jake Morris and Robert Byrne combined to set him up and the new captain blasted to the net from close range.
Kilkenny 2-18 Cork 0-17
KILKENNY got their defence of the National Hurling League title off to a winning start yesterday, outclassing Cork in Nowlan Park.
The Cats, who lost the corresponding clash last season, turned in a very strong second-half to take the spoils as they prepare for a trip to Ennis to face Clare this weekend. Cork were second best in all departments during the second period as they were outscored by 1-10 to 0-7.
The Rebel county's attack was well held by the Cats and the home half-back line of Conor Delaney, Paddy Deegan and Enda Morrissey hardly gave the opposition a sniff.
Wexford 2-11 Limerick 1-16
THE All-Ireland champions marked their return to top-flight NHL action for the first-time since 2010 with a merited victory at Wexford Park yesterday.
A largely uneventful second-half saw Limerick extend their supremacy before subs Harry Kehoe and Paul Morris combined with Conor McDonald to cut the margin to 1-14 to 2-10 on 66 minutes.
Wexford then hit a couple of costly wides, while Darragh O'Donovan and Gearóid Hegarty settled Limerick nerves entering added-time. The drama wasn't over though, with Conor McDonald's goal-bound drive rebounding from the woodwork before Liam Óg McGovern's follow-up attempt yielded a '65, pointed by Jack O'Connor.
Sub Barry Murphy hit back to ensure a merited victory for John Kiely's men.
Dublin 3-15 Carlow 0-18
AN EARLY second-half flurry turned Saturday night's game in Dublin's direction, despite them facing into a strong wind.
Goals from Éamonn Dillon and Donal Burke were critical in settling the game, although this was a highly encouraging first Division One showing from Carlow, who will feel they can build on their performance.
Galway 1-27 Laois 2-15
GALWAY opened their National League campaign with a comfortable victory as they easily brushed aside Laois.
The home side moved 14 points ahead by the early stages of the second-half before a strong finish from the Midlanders reduced the gap to nine by the final whistle.
Joe Canning top-scored for the Connacht men with 0-10.
Waterford 2-28 Offaly 0-7
THE Déise inflicted a 27-point drubbing on their Leinster opponents at Semple Stadium yesterday.
Waterford had extended their lead to 16 points before veteran Michael ‘Brick' Walsh received warm applause when withdrawn in the 52nd minute.
Offaly didn't help their cause with 11 wides and manager Kevin Martin will be concerned following a listless performance.
Westmeath 2-17 London 0-15
WESTMEATH began their Division 2A campaign with a comfortable defeat of London at Cusack Park. The Exiles scored the first three points of the second-half but once Niall Mitchell rattled home a second Westmeath goal, the result was never in doubt.
Mayo 0-17 Meath 0-17
MAYO and Meath shared the spoils in Ballina in their opening game. The Royal county held the upper hand for most of the afternoon, leading by three points heading for the last 10 minutes. But Mayo dug deep to reel them in and earn a point from a gritty encounter.
Warwickshire 0-11 Wicklow 2-20
WICKLOW enjoyed a comfortable 15-point victory over Warwickshire in Birmingham on Saturday. Éamonn Scallan's side led by just 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval but pulled away after the resumption, with Michael Boland and John Henderson grabbing their goals.
Louth 1-11 Roscommon 3-18
GEARÓID Egan (two) and Conor Mulry netted as Roscommon eased to a 3-18 to 1-11 victory over Louth in Dundalk.
Cavan 2-9 Leitrim 1-11
CAVAN picked up an injury-time win when John Sheanon registered his fifth score of the day in the 71st minute of their victory over Leitrim in Ballyconnell.
Sligo 2-14 Fermanagh 1-16
RÚAIRÍ Brennan's last-gasp point gave Sligo victory over Fermanagh at Kent Park, just when it looked as if Declan McGarry's goal in the second minute of added-time would salvage a point for the Erne county. Gary Cadden and Joe Star were the Sligo goal-scorers.