Donegal beat Tyrone to secure semi-final spot; Derry down while Down survive
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE ROUND FIVE
DIVISION ONE GROUP A
Clare 2-18 Cork 2-18
CORK will play Kilkenny in this Saturday’s Division One semi-finals after the Rebels played out a draw with Clare in Cusack Park.
With the sides down to play each other in the Munster Championship in a couple of months’ time and with little riding on the result, neither side played their strongest team in Ennis.
All four of the game’s goals came in the first-half, with Pádraig Power and Séamus Harnedy grabbing the majors for Cork and Tony Kelly and Aidan McCarthy replying for the Banner.
Cork led by 2-12 to 2-10 at half-time, while Clare edged a low-scoring second-half to guarantee a stalemate.
Limerick 2-20 Wexford 0-15
LIMERICK will meet Tipperary in a Division One last-four clash after the All-Ireland champions were comfortable victors over Wexford at the Gaelic Grounds.
The Limerick goals came through Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillane, who ended with 1-5 to his name on his first start of the year.
The Treaty have been edging towards full strength in recent weeks and they were boosted yesterday by the return from injury of captain Declan Hannon and a first start of 2023 for Mike Casey.
The Limerick backline accounted for 1-6 of their total, while Lee Chin top-scored for Wexford with 0-11.
Westmeath 1-12 Galway 4-27
GALWAY missed out on the league semi-finals despite trouncing Westmeath in Mullingar, but they will be more concerned by the cruciate ligament knee injury suffered by David Burke. The St Thomas’ clubman will now miss the entirety of this summer’s Championship.
Tiernán Killeen, Brian Concannon, Jason Flynn and Declan McLoughlin got the goals for Henry Shefflin’s men, while Evan Niland registered 0-11.
Westmeath will now play Laois in this Saturday’s Division One relegation play-off.
DIVISION ONE GROUP A
Dublin 1-29 Laois 0-20
LAOIS will turn their attention to this weekend’s relegation play-off with Westmeath after they suffered their fifth defeat of the campaign at Parnell Park yesterday.
Donal Burke notched 0-12 for the Dubs, 0-7 of those from dead balls, while Alex Considine got the home side’s major as well as three of their points.
Stephen Maher was top scorer for Laois with 0-12 and they will need him to be on form again this weekend if they are to stand a chance of securing their Division One status for another season.
Kilkenny 0-18 Waterford 0-16
KILKENNY came out on the right side of yesterday’s shoot-out for a Division One semi-final spot at Nowlan Park.
The game was nip and tuck for the majority, but a run of five points in the closing 12 minutes saw the home side eventually get the better of the Déise in what was a tough battle in wintry conditions.
Kilkenny’s top scorer in the league Billy Drennan weighed in with three of those five points late on, while Shane Walsh and Alan Murphy added one each as the defending champions were edged out.
Kilkenny will take on Cork in this weekend’s semi-final.
Carlow 2-21 Derry 0-16
DERRY will be playing in Division 2B next year after defeat to Carlow in Cullen Park confirmed their relegation.
The Oak Leafers picked up just a single point across their campaign, that coming from the draw with Down, who finish ahead of them on scoring difference.
The Barrowsiders asserted their dominance early in the game as Conor Kehoe hit a brace of majors in the third and fourth minutes to leave Derry reeling.
Entering the second quarter four points in front, Carlow then doubled down on their advantage, with Paddy Boland, Chris Nolan, Richard Coady, Fiach O’Toole and Marty Kavanagh registering points in that period to put Carlow 11 points up by half-time.
Derry threw everything at the home side in the second half to try to save their League season, but a couple of sharp saves from Ciarán Abbey denied them the goals they needed as their relegation was confirmed.
Kerry 1-20 Down 1-19
DOWN retained their Division 2A status for next year despite going down to a one-point defeat in Austin Stack Park.
While Kerry were playing for a place in the 2A semi-final, the Ardsmen knew they needed a victory to be certain of safety before throw-in and they were the better team in the first half.
Ronan Sheehan’s men were three points up at half-time, and would still have that advantage with 15 minutes to play after Tom McGrattan had grabbed a goal.
Jordan Conway responded with a major for the men from the Kingdom before Philip Lucid stunned Down with a winning point in injury-time.
Kerry will now take on Offaly for a place in the Division 2A final against Kildare.
Offaly 2-17 Kildare 0-23
KILDARE secured their place in the Division 2A final thanks to a battling draw with Offaly at O’Connor Park.
David Nally and Charlie Mitchell got the goals for Offaly, but a James Burke point four minutes into injury-time secured the draw for the Lilywhites.
Donegal 1-18 Tyrone 1-17
DONEGAL will meet Wicklow in the 2B semi-final after this hard-earned win over Tyrone writes Gerry McLaughlin.
Mickey McCann’s men had a kick-back from their poor showing against Wicklow to fashion a narrow but deserved win.
Jack O’Loughlin, who had a fine game around the middle of the park, Ruairi Crawford and Ruairi Campbell, and second-half substitute Oisin Marley hit the points to see Donegal through to their second semi-final in a row.
Donegal were without Danny Cullen, Declan Coulter and Stephen Gillespie, who all also missed last weekend’s 19-point defeat by Wicklow.
The early exchanges were pretty close with Ciaran Lagan and Lorcan Devlin raising white flags for Tyrone.
And sandwiched in between, Liam McKinney, Daire O’ Maoileidigh and O’Loughlin kept the men in the white coats busy at the other end with three good strikes.
Lorcan Devlin tied up the game at 0-3 each seconds before Sean Duffin strode through from the right wing to drill low and hard to Luke White’s left for a good individual goal.
And the Red Hand men were four up after Begley and Duffin added two more minors to one from Maoileidigh to lead 1-6 to 0-4, with 24 minutes on the clock.
However, the lead was short-lived and it was level again, for the second time, when Brian McIntyre first-timed to the back of the Tyrone net after Ritchie Ryan broke the ball into the St Eunan’s man’s path.
Donegal momentarily went one behind again before O’Loughlin nailed three points in a row to send them in one up at the half-time break, 1-9 to 1-8.
Brian McIntyre and Ritchie Ryan, and the free-scoring Begley, exchanged early points on the resumption.
The sides were level three times in the third quarter before Tyrone, with a couple of quick points from second-half substitute Michael Little, forged two ahead again.
The temperature hotted up on the field and on the sideline as Donegal manager Mickey McCann (left) was sent to the stand.
The game ended in a flurry of excitement as O’Loughlin, Ruairi Campbell and Marley did the business to seal the win.
Monaghan 0-14 Roscommon 1-19
MONAGHAN will have to take on Armagh for a place in the Division 3A final after they fell to an eight-point defeat to Roscommon Clontibret.
Brendan Mulry’s goal helped to send the visitors in with a 1-10 to 0-8 half-time lead and they would hit the first five points of the second half to kick on for the victory.
The Rossies have turned their season around under new manager Séamus Qualter and are assured of their place in the Division 3A final.
Armagh 3-17 Fermanagh 3-16
ARMAGH booked their semi-final spot thanks to a one-point win over Fermanagh at Middletown on Saturday.
Sean Corrigan’s goal helped the Ernemen lead comfortably at the halfway stage (1-12 to 0-9), but goals from Peadar McBride and Danny Magee early in the second half turned the game in the hosts’ favour.
Magee struck another major which looked to seal the deal for the Orchard county but Fermanagh kept up the pressure, ultimately falling one point short and being consigned to relegation.
Louth 0-15 Mayo 5-20
MAYO escaped relegation thanks to a big win over Louth in Darver.
Leitrim 0-10 Longford 0-9
Lancashire 5-20 Warwickshire 1-15
LEITRIM and Longford will contest this weekend’s semi-final to see which team joins Cavan in the decider.
Joe Murray’s late point gave Leitrim a slender win over Longford in Drumshambo, while Lancashire cruised to victory against Warwickshire in Birmingham.