Wickow into Christy Ring Cup final

Wicklow will contest the Christy Ring Cup final at Croke Park on Saturday, June 9 after beating Leinster rivals Meath. But their opponents in the decider have yet to be confirmed as Down and London drew their semi-final after extra-time.

Wicklow will contest the Christy Ring Cup final at Croke Park on Saturday, June 9 after beating Leinster rivals Meath. But their opponents in the decider have yet to be confirmed as Down and London drew their semi-final after extra-time.

Down and London played out a nail-biting encounter in Newry as extra-time failed to separate them - the match finished in a 1-21 to 1-21 stalemate.

The sides were tied at 1-16 apiece at the end of normal time following a pulsating opening 70 minutes.

Down led by the minimum at the interval on a 0-12 to 1-8 scoreline, with Paul Braniff and Paul Sheehan impressing for the hosts..

Earlier, London led by 0-3 to 0-2 after just seven minutes, but little separated the sides for the bulk of this game.

A kicked point from Michael Turley, following a pass from Sean Ennis, pushed Down 0-4 to 0-3 ahead, but the sides were level on two more occasions before Down once again seized the initiative.

Scores from Andy Savage and Braniff pushed Down two points in front, but Martin Finn was clinical for the Exiles from placed balls.

London cut the deficit to the minimum, but Down raced 0-10 to 0-7 in front with Braniff, Savage and Sheehan all on target.

Although London tied the game through a goal from substitute Tony Dunne, Down edged ahead by the break and there were three points to the good inside seven minutes of the restart.

But the Mourne men were soon reduced to 14 men - Braniff was flashed a red card after an off-the-ball incident in the middle of the pitch.

London looked to gain control through their numerical advantage, but Exiles goalkeeper Tommy Williams had his penalty shot saved.

Having been four points adrift at one stage, London bounced back to square things up again late on with a point from Dunne.

Indeed, the visitors led by three points entering injury-time - only for a last gasp goal from Conor Woods to force extra-time. He found the net from a precise free after London defender Colm Quinn picked up a second yellow card.

Down led by a point at half-time in extra-time and although they extended their slim advantage to two points on the restart, a last-gasp London comeback ensured a replay.

Meanwhile, in Arklow, Wicklow's hurlers always looked the likely winners in their 3-17 to 2-12 semi-final defeat of Meath.

The hosts stormed into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead after 11 minutes. Wayne O'Gorman netted a fifth minute goal after sending a low shot to the net.

Meath eventually opened their account in the 13th minute with a pointed free, but the hosts continued to impress.

Wicklow led by 2-7 to 0-3 after 25 minutes with Andy O'Brien claiming their second goal. Meath came back into contention thanks to a Peter Durnin goal in the 29th minute, which came about following a scramble near the square.

The Royals looked dangerous in the closing stages of the opening half, with Noel Kirby following through for Meath's second goal in the fourth minute of injury-time.

But Wicklow still led by 2-10 to 2-6 at half-time and found an extra gear or two when it mattered most.

The Garden County led by 3-14 to 2-9 entering the final quarter with Christy Moorehouse breaking free from his maker and slotting the ball to the net.

The Royals failed to recover with the sides trading six points in the closing 15 minutes, as Wicklow held out for a deserved eight-point win.

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