Down and Kildare progress to Christy Ring Cup semis

Kildare and Down booked their places in the Christy Ring Cup semi-finals following wins in today's quarter-final encounters.

A strong display from the Kildare hurlers saw them carve out a 4-18 to 1-13 victory over Derry at Banagher.

Kildare's David Harney, Martin Fitzgerald and Tony Murphy all found the Derry net in the opening 35 minutes.

All four first half goals arrived in the opening 15 minutes, with Kildare claiming an early 3-02 to 1-05 lead. Cathal McKeever kept the hosts in touch with Derry's only goal of the contest.

Kildare outscored the hosts by six points to four in the second quarter as they moved 3-08 to 1-09 ahead by half-time.

The Lilywhites failed to ease up on the restart, with Martin Fitzgerald netting their fourth goal early in the second half.

Derry's scoring opportunities were limited in the closing 35 minutes as they were held to just four second half points. Kildare will face Wicklow in the semi-finals.

Down's impressive first half performance stood to them as they ran out comfortable 1-18 to 1-07 winners over Meath at Ballycran.

The Mourne County side dominated the opening exchanges and led by 1-12 to 0-01 at half-time.

Full-forward Paul Braniff scored the game's opening goal in the 10th minute, with Brendan Ennis, Gareth Johnston and Conor O'Prey also featuring strongly.

Nickey Cole netted a goal for the visitors on the restart, as Meath tried to launch a comeback.

However, Braniff, Coyle and Ennis continued to pick off points in the second half as Down secured an 11-point triumph. They will play Kerry in the last four.

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