NHL Matchbox: Down sign off league campaign with big win over Meath
National Hurling League
Down 4-23 Meath 0-14
DOWN signed off on their 2A campaign in spectacular fashion at Ballycran yesterday, trouncing a visiting Meath.
Daithí Sands and Oisín MacManus both hit the back of the net for the Ards men in the first-half to give them a nine-point lead at the break.
Eoghan Sands added a third major 10 minutes after the restart, while Chris Egan added a fourth with just over 10 minutes to go.
The result means Down finish in third place in the table in their first season back in Division 2A.
Division One Group A
Cork 2-23 Galway 3-25
GALWAY finished top of Group A thanks to an impressive second-half comeback against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Shane O'Neill's men had gone in at half-time trailing by 2-12 to 0-12 and the margin swelled to seven points when Rebels captain Patrick Horgan landed a free on the resumption.
However, Cork would only add ten more points to their tally, outscored by the visitors' 3-13. Cathal Mannion (1-2), Conor Whelan (1-1) and Conor Cooney (1-2) were all prominent in the Galway comeback.
Waterford 2-29 Tipperary 3-21
WATERFORD won by five points at Walsh Park yesterday, but it could have been more had they not missed a string of second-half goal chances.
Stephen Bennet converted 0-15 for the Déise while Dessie Hutchinson grabbed both goals in what was a fine display.
The only concern for Waterford will have been the sight of Austin Gleeson limping off the field just two weeks away from their Munster Championship opener with Clare.
Westmeath 0-18 Limerick 3-26
A LATE flourish by Limerick saw them down a pointless Westmeath at Cusack Park yesterday.
The game had been tight going into the last quarter, whereon the All-Ireland champions put their foot on the accelerator, outscoring their hosts by 3-8 to 0-4.
Kyle Hayes and substitutes Darren O'Connell and Pat Ryan got the goals for the Treaty, while Aaron Gillane chipped in with 0-8.
Division One Group B
Clare 4-20 Kilkenny 1-25
CLARE scored a battling victory over division winners Kilkenny at Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon.
With the two sides level on no less than nine occasions up until the 68th minute, it was Clare who found the extra gear, with substitutes Gary Cooney (0-2) and Ryan Taylor providing the precious late points. Tony Kelly (2-5), David Reidy (1-2) and Aron Shanagher (1-1) provided the majors for the Banner.
Wexford 0-25 Dublin 1-18
THE Yellowbellies confirmed second spot in Group B with this win over Dublin at Wexford Park.
The home side established control of the game between the 20th and 31st minutes when they struck six unanswered points while Dublin fired six straight wides.
Lee Chin top scored for Wexford with 0-10, while Donal Burke (1-10) did his level best to keep Dublin in touch.
Wicklow 0-10 Offaly 1-32
OFFALY racked up another big score as they coasted past bottom-of-the-table Wicklow at Baltinglass yesterday.
The Faithful county were 16 points in front before the hosts managed to put a score on the board, with Shane Dooley (0-18) top-scoring.
Carlow 3-25 Kerry 0-14
CARLOW finished in second place in 2A thanks to a hammering of Kerry at Cullen Park. Marty Kavanagh, two, and John Nolan got the goals for the Barrowsiders.
Derry 1-26 Roscommon 0-14
DERRY retained their Division 2B status with a big win over relegated Roscommon at Owenbeg.
The Oak Leafs led throughout and were 0-13 to 0-5 to the good at half-time thanks to the reliable finishing of Cormac O'Doherty and John Mullan. A second-half major from Gerard Bradley put the icing on the cake for Derry.
Mayo 1-19 Kildare 2-24
KILDARE secured promotion thanks to a fine win on the road at MacHale Park on Saturday.
Although Mayo led their visitors by 1-14 to 1-9 at half-time, the Lilywhite outscored the Westerners by 0-9 to 0-2 in the third-quarter.
Longford 3-13 Monaghan 1-20
MONAGHAN secured their Division 3A status thanks to a one-point win over Longford at Pearse Park on Saturday.
Stephen Lambe, Mark Treanor, Niall Garland, Pádraig McGahon and Fergal Rafter were all central to the Monaghan effort over the course of the game, while Hugh Byrne chipped in with a major in the first-half.
Tyrone 0-14 Sligo 1-18
TYRONE'S promotion hopes died a death at Healy Park on Saturday as visitors Sligo ultimately ran out comfortable winners to confirm their place in Division 2B for next season.
While the teams were level on 0-6 apiece at the break, another fine performance from Gerard O'Kelly Lynch (1-11) helped the Yeats men over the line.