Hurling Matchbox: Offaly into Christy Ring final while Laois preserve Division One status
Christy Ring Cup semi-final: Offaly 6-30 Wicklow 0-11
OFFALY'S saunter through the Christy Ring Cup continued on Saturday as they registered a 37-point win over Wicklow at O'Connor Park.
First-half goals from Oisín Kelly (two), Brian Duignan, Killian Sampson and Leon Fox had the home side 20 points ahead at the interval, with Wicklow's cause not helped by an early red card for Ciarán Breen.
The mismatch didn't get any easier for the Garden county in the second-half, with Ben Conneely adding a sixth major for the Faithful men late on. Eoghan Cahill was once again the top scorer for Offaly, hitting 0-8, while many of their substitutes also made an impression, including Eimhin Kelly with 0-3.
Michael Fennelly's side will now await Derry in the final – details will be announced today.
Lory Meagher Cup semi-finals
Cavan 1-21 Louth 0-20
CAVAN qualified for a first ever Lory Meagher Cup final thanks to a hard fought win over holders Louth at Breffni Park.
With just seven minutes remaining, Louth led by four and looked on a course to continue their title defence. But points from Seán Keating, Cillian Sheanon, Brian Fitzgerald, Kevin Conneely in addition to a Fitzgerald goal helped turn the tide in the Breffni county's favour.
Fermanagh 1-21 Longford 1-13
FERMANAGH now have the chance to make up for last year's final loss to Louth after an impressive win over Longford at Pearse Park. Seán Corrigan racked up the points for the Erne men while Tom Keenan grabbed their goal.
National Hurling League Division One relegation play-off: Laois 1-27 Westmeath 0-27
NINE points down at half-time, Laois stormed back to defeat Westmeath and preserve their Division One status at O'Moore Park on Saturday.
Westmeath went through the gears in the first-half and hit eight points without reply between the 16th and 26th minutes, five of them coming from the Doyle twins – Killian (0-4, including two frees) and Ciarán (0-1).
Laois got a soft goal against the run of play in the 30th minute, with Ross King firing the ball into an unguarded net after picking up a delivery by Charles Dwyer.
While Westmeath suffered a major blow on the stroke of half-time when wing-back Aaron Craig was red-carded, they still carried a 0-18 to 1-9 into the break.
Although Westmeath still led by six at the second water break, the unerring accuracy of PJ Scully, who finished with 0-17, was wearing down the advantage. Seven unanswered points put the home side ahead by the 62nd minute and, while it remained tight, Westmeath couldn't find their range to claw Laois back.