Mayo claim first Division 2B Hurling title

Mayo claim first Division 2B Hurling title

Mayo claimed their first Allianz Division 2B Hurling League success, while Westmeath and Carlow await a pitch inspection to see if their Division 2A decider will take place tomorrow.

Kenny Feeney fired 11 points as a Division 2B silverware made its way to a Connacht county for the first time with a 1-15 to 0-14 win at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Down were 3-19 to 0-14 winners over Mayo in their final group game last weekend, but with Mayo already through, they decided they fielded a somewhat weakened side for that encounter.

It was a different gravy in this decider in Cavan, with Kenny Feeney scoring 11 points - seven in the second half, as Mayo held out for a four-point triumph and Down recorded a third loss in a Division 2B final in five years.

This was a sporting encounter which saw little in terms of cards produced, and it was Down who started strongly.

Marty Mallon's charges led by 0-5 to 0-1 after 13 minutes, with Paul Sheehan and Daithí Sands firing two points each, and Declan McManus also on target.

Feeney was Mayo's lone scorer in the opening minutes, but his side came good as the Mayo free-takers form improved.

Back-to-back Feeney scores and a Keith Higgins point, after good work by Cathal Freeman saw Mayo cut the gap to the minimum after 18 and a half minutes.

Down moved two ahead through Caolan Baille, but a 29th minute Brian Morley goal, after Down keeper Stephen Keith failed to clear handed Mayo some momentum.

Down worked hard through Sheehan and led by 0-9 to 1-5 at the break.

Declan McManus extended this lead to two points inside three minutes of the restart, but Down only managed four more scores - three in the closing 10 minutes.

Mayo upped their game, with Feeney, Freeman and Higgins on target.

Down claimed a point in the third minute of injury-time to cut the gap to a goal, but time ran out as Mayo were crowned champions.

The Westerners have also been promoted to Division 2A next year.

Meanwhile, the Allianz Division 2A Hurling League Final between Carlow and Westmeath was one of a number of games to fall victim to the snowy weather.

The pitch at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise was covered in a blanket of snow this morning with a decision made to postpone the game by 24 hours.

It remains to be seen if the snow will clear in time for the game to take place at the Laois venue tomorrow at 2.30pm, with a further pitch inspection due to take place.

- Digital desk

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