Hurling League round-up: Robbie Greville impresses as Westmeath see off Saffrons to close on final

Westmeath’s place in this year’s Allianz HL Division 2A final is all but assured after they led from pillar to post in yesterday’s top-of-the-table clash with Antrim at Cusack Park, eventually running out 2-11 to 0-10 winners at the Mullingar venue.

Hurling League round-up: Robbie Greville impresses as Westmeath see off Saffrons to close on final

Robbie Greville got the hosts off to the best possible start and while Antrim responded well with two quick points, 19 scoreless minutes in which Westmeath added 0-5 without reply left the Saffrons in real trouble.

Antrim rallied late in the half but always trailed by at least three points, and were done for when Derek McNicholas added his side’s second goal with a little less than 10 minutes remaining, rounding off his own personal tally of 1-6.

Carlow’s trip to Ulster next Sunday will now be effectively a league semi-final after they eased to a comfortable 2-25 to 0-9 win over Derry at Netwatch Cullen Park.

The home side fell to a shock defeat to London last weekend but roared back into form yesterday, leading by 1-13 to 0-5 at half-time and cruising home against a Derry side that received three red cards.

Kildare earned their first point of the campaign and dealt a huge blow to London’s promotion prospects in the process, when they came away from Ruislip with a 1-11 to 0-14 draw.

Kildare’s best hurling was played in the first half when they went in level at 0-6 apiece after hurling into the wind in the first half, with Gerry Keegan and Martin Fitzgerald both prominent.

Martin Duggan’s goal boosted London’s prospects but Kildare kept their composure and looked the more likely winners until Duggan struck a late free to level the contest.

Mayo continue to be one of the most improved sides in Ireland as they recorded a shock 0-20 to 0-16 win over Down at Páirc Esler to remain on top of Division 2B.

A nip and tuck tie started to go Mayo’s way shortly before half-time, when they went from level to three up in five minutes and they held that lead throughout the second half, recording their third Allianz League win in succession.

Stephen Clynch (0-12, 6f), Tom Clarke (0-6), Stephen Morris (0-4) and Adam Gannon (1-3) were all in sensational scoring form for Meath as they hammered Donegal by 2-35 to 0-9, 1-19 of which came in the first half. Only Seán McVeigh (0-3) made any impact for Donegal, as they were simply overrun by the Royal County at Trim.

Armagh’s clash with Meath next week is now crucially important after two early goals helped the Orchard County to come away from Aughrim with a 2-17 to 2-15 win.

Both sides finished with 14 men due to the dismissals of Eoin McGuinness (Armagh) and Diarmuid Masterson (Wicklow), while John Henderson and Christy Moorehouse struck late goals for the hosts, who were always well off the pace.

In Allianz Division 3A, meanwhile, Roscommon remain on top, after they edged past Fingal by 1-14 to 0-16 at Athleague, while Monaghan beat Louth, 2-19 to 1-12.

Tyrone overcame Warwickshire by 0-17 to 1-12 to stay in the divisional hunt.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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