Kerry secure slender win while Laois and Westmeath set to contest final

Kerry secure slender win while Laois and Westmeath set to contest final

Laois and Westmeath will contest the Division 2A Allianz Hurling League final, with both taking wins today, while elsewhere Kerry had a slender one-point win over Derry.

Laois survived a second half scare from Wicklow, before prevailing by 0-18 to 0-14 at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

The hosts stormed to an 0-11 to 0-2 lead, with Zane Keenan, Willie Hyland, Matthew Whelan, Stephen Maher, John Brophy and Brian Dunne taking their first half scores.

Seamus Plunkett's side could also afford nine first-half wides, but were met with a strong Wicklow back-lash on the restart.

The loss of Maher at half-time with an ankle injury didn't help Laois's cause, coupled with the visitors holding the aid of a strong wind assistance in the closing 35 minutes.

Laois fired three of the first five points of the second half, but Brian Gleeson's side firmly took hold of this game, with Jonathan O'Neill leading the charge.

The Wicklow captain bagged nine points in total, including seven in the second half, with Andy O'Brien, Ronan Keddy and substitutes Christy Moorehouse and Mikey Lee impressive.

Four points separated the sides in the 69th minute, but Wicklow failed to add to their tally, with Laois goalkeeper Eoin Reilly pulling off a fine save from a late O'Brien goal strike.

Westmeath were handed a stern test, before taking a seven-point win over Kildare on a 1-22 to 2-12 score-line at Cusack Park, Mullingar this afternoon.

The hosts had excellent performances from the likes of captain Eoin Price, Derek McNicholas, John Shaw and Brendan Murtagh as they maintained their unbeaten run.

Westmeath led by 0-14 to 1-5 at half-time, with Adam Price, Paul Greville, Alan McGrath, McNicholas, Murtagh and Shaw taking the Lake County scores.

Kildare captain Paul Divilly kept the visitors in touch with four first-half points, while Bernard Deay bagged a 10th minute goal.

Westmeath led by 1-16 to 1-8 entering the final quarter, with Adam Price netting the hosts goal.

Kildare battled bravely with a 64th minute goal from David Harney leaving four points between the sides. However, Westmeath finished strongly to hold out for a seven-point win.

A late Aidan Boyle point earned Kerry a 1-13 to 1-12 win over Derry, but scoring difference cost the Kingdom of a place in the Division 2A decider.

Wind assisted Kerry led by 1-9 to 0-4 at half-time, with Sean Maunsell claiming Kerry's lone goal.

Derry stormed back in the second half, with Michael Kirkpatrick netting their goal in the closing 10 minutes.

The Oak Leafers managed to level the tie in the 69th minute, but Kerry held their nerve with Boyle snatching a late winner.

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