Joy for Roscommon, Fermanagh and Kerry in today's hurling finals

Kerry strode to a 1-20 to 0-12 victory over Derry in the Christy Ring Cup final, lifting their second title and avoiding a third successive defeat in the Croke Park decider.

Joy for Roscommon, Fermanagh and Kerry in today's hurling finals

Kerry strode to a 1-20 to 0-12 victory over Derry in the Christy Ring Cup final, lifting their second title and avoiding a third successive defeat in the Croke Park decider.

Shane Nolan finished with a 1-8 tally as the Kingdom rounded off a successful season that has seen them win promotion to Division 1B of the NHL.

Michael O’Leary and Nolan were on target early on, before Ruairi Convery and Alan Grant closed the gap.

After Convery converted his third free, there was another swift Kingdom response, with O’Leary landing two neat scores.

The Munster men were cruising after Nolan darted through for a 30th minute goal and a 1-9 to 0-5 lead.

Derry staged a minor revival with three converted frees, including Convery’s fifth, but they trailed by 1-10 to 0-8 at the break.

Paddy Henry thumped over a couple of long range frees, but Derry were unable to break through a Kerry defence that continued to be strengthened by extra bodies. Kerry had the finish line in sight, and they shot six of the game’s last seven points, with wing back Carmody hitting his third, and Nolan drilling over three more frees.

Fourteen-man Roscommon claimed the Nicky Rackard Cup in a sensational finish, with skipper Micheal Kelly smashing a free to the net in stoppage time to give them a 2-12 to 1-14 win over Armagh.

Ryan Gaffney steered over a couple of Armagh frees early on, but they were knocked back by a Roscommon goal in the sixth minute.

Adrian Murphy drifted in behind the Orchard cover to accept Ronan O’Meara’s pass and drill his shot low and hard past Simon Doherty.

That score enabled the Rossies to keep their noses in front for much of the first half, with Jason Kilkenny getting through some worthy graft around midfield,.

John Moran, Cillian Egan and Keith Kilkenny were all on target, and the Orchard were only staying in touch by means of Gaffney’s accuracy from frees.

But it all came good for the Ulster men late in the half, with David Carvill and Conor Corvan both on target, before Cathal Carvill smashed home a 30th minute goal.

They led by 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval, and stretched the advantage to five through Gaffney.

But the Connacht men responded with a couple of Jerry Fallon frees.

Despite the dismissal of substitute Cathal Kelly on a straight red card on 56 minutes, the Rossies continued to battle, and narrowed the gap to a single point through John Coyle.

However, Gaffney’s eighth free had Armagh two ahead going into added time, but Kelly stepped up to win it for the westerners with a bullet-like free.

An emotion-charged occasion for Fermanagh saw them dedicate their first ever Lory Meagher Cup title to the memory of former team-mate Shane Mulholland, who was killed in a road crash earlier this year.

The Ernemen saw off Sligo by 3-16 to 1-17 despite finishing the men with just 12 men.

Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch and Keith Raymond sent a string of scores sailing between the posts as Sligo built up a 0-9 to 0-2 lead by the 20th minute.

But they were stunned by three Erne goals in the last 15 minutes of the opening half.

Sean Corrigan finished a cross from his brother Ciaran to the net, and Declan McGarry powered his way through to rifle home a second.

And in the 35th minute, McGarry was on hand to finish to the net from close range after Andrew Breslin’s shot had been saved by Sean Hayes.

Fermanagh led by 3-5 to 0-12 at the break, and stretched the advantage with scores from McGarry, Sean Corrigan and Brian McLaughlin.

Sligo pulled a goal back through Ciaran Brennan, and were handed a route back into the game when John Duffy (second yellow), Karl Kehoe (straight red) and David Teague (second yellow) were sent off.

But three superb long range points in the closing stages from McLaughlin sealed the win, and emotional celebrations.

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