London qualified for the penultimate stage of this year’s Nicky Rackard Cup after a facile demolition of North Dublin side Fingal at Parnell Park this afternoon.
The Exiles were far superior on the day and were full value for their 5-17 to 1-11 win, thus securing a semi-final spot next weekend.
Having finished a disappointing fourth place behind Meath in Division 3A of this year’s National Hurling League, London’s emphasis turned to this competition which they got to the final of last year and on today’s form it will take a very good side to beat them as they banged in five goals and had the contest over by half-time.
The sides were very evenly matched during the opening phases of play but the concession of two soft goals from a Fingal point of view had the alarm bells ringing. Centre-forward Richie O’Connell and his fellow Cork native Martin Finn had a hand in both goals, with Finn bagging the first while Dylan Mythen notched the other.
That score had them 2-3 to 0-2 points up after Colm Foley and Martin Ormonde got Fingal off the mark and they held their own for the remainder of a nip-and-tuck opening half.
It got worse for them on the stroke of half-time as when they appeared set to trail off by just a goal in arrears, they conceded a third, again through Martin Finn to make it 3-8 to 1-8 after Brian McCarthy’s goal had given them hope.
A good start was crucial from a Fingal point of view but for an early phase of dominance all they had to show for it were four poor wides and when Finn bagged his third goal to make it 4-9 to 1-08 the game was as good as settled.
Foley, Ormonde and Emmett McCabe all had London points but goals were the only currency that counted today and London wrapped up a convincing win with a late goal from Mythen and a succession of scores from Tom Twomey, Finn, Aidan Fitzgerald, and Richie O’Connell.
London will play either Armagh or Roscommon on June 26 at a venue to be decided tomorrow.
Louth 2-15 Sligo 3-18
Sligo will play neighbours Roscommon in next weekend’s Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final after they beat Louth by six points at Pearse Park in Longford today.
The Westerners had Colin Herrity in inspired form today, the midfielder knocking over 0-12 points in what was an inspirational display by him.
Their hat-trick hero from when they played London a few weeks back-Robert Molloy was at his best again today, scoring two goals and an assortment of terrific points.
Louth and Sligo are well versed on each other and contested the 2008 Nicky Rackard Cup final which the latter won by six points.
Today, there was very little between the sides again with Louth getting off to an excellent start through the inform Ger Smyth who registered nine points for his county today.
Mark Gordon had the Wee County’s first goal after only five minutes to put them 1-3 to 0-4 points in front but Molloy then pounced for his first goal to nudge Sligo in front 1-4 to 1-3 after 12 minutes.
It was very much a case of tit for tat for the remainder of the half, Colin Herety lofting over some sublime points from play and placed balls as well as a sideline cut on 17 minutes, while Molloy was Sligo’s main threat, knocking in his second goal on 30 minutes after collecting a long puck out from Aidan Clarke.
That score surged them ahead, 2-12 to 1-8 at half-time but the lead was short-lived when Shane Fennell scored a Louth goal inside a minute after he reacted quickest to a Ger Smyth free that came back off the post.
The next ten minutes was a shoot-out between Smyth and Herety for Louth while Kevin Macnally and Molloy as well as the outstanding Mark Kierney kept Sligo just about in front, 2-15 to 2-14 approaching the final five minutes.
The game was settled in the final minutes when Damien Burke goaled for Sligo and followed up with a point to leave it 3-18 to 2-15.
Fermanagh 0-19 Cavan 1-07
Fermanagh secured a semi-final place in this year’s Lory Meaghar Cup after defeating Cavan at Brewster Park by 0-19 to 1-07.
The sides were evenly matched early on but a shock looked on the cards when Jamie Rosney notched a goal for Cavan midway through the half.
The Ernesiders response was impressive and they were thankful to have free-taker Paul McGoldrick in excellent scoring form, registering the majority of their first-half tally of eight points.
The sides were level 12 minutes into the second period with Bernard Gaffney on target for Cavan a few times but Fermanagh upped it a notch and pulled away for a comfortable win in the end.
They play Donegal next weekend in the semi-final.