Trio of away wins and a draw in O'Byrne Cup

There was a trio of away wins in the O'Byrne Cup this afternoon, as Kildare, Laois and Offaly delivered victories, while neighbours Westmeath and Meath shared the spoils in Mullingar.

Trio of away wins and a draw in O'Byrne Cup

There was a trio of away wins in the O'Byrne Cup this afternoon, as Kildare, Laois and Offaly delivered victories, while neighbours Westmeath and Meath shared the spoils in Mullingar.

Kildare staged a fabulous second half comeback, to deliver their first win under new manager Jack O'Connor, with a 2-14 to 2-7 win over Wicklow in Aughrim.

The Lilywhites were 2-6 to 1-0 in arrears after 28 minutes, after Darren Hayden fired back-to-back goals in quick succession for the hosts.

Kildare U20 winning manager Davy Burke's new Wicklow charges were in stunning form early on, and opened their account after just 25 seconds through Chris O'Brien, moving 0-6 to 0-0 clear after 15 minutes.

Daniel Flynn made his eagerly awaited return for Kildare, and played a part in their opening score, having his initial shot blocked, before Chris Byrne finished to the net on 23 minutes.

Wicklow responded with two Hayden goals in as many minutes, but points from Kevin Flynn, Jack Robinson and Daniel Flynn cut the gap to six points at the break.

David Hyland's move to midfield certainly proved effective on the restart, with Daniel Flynn grabbing their second goal after 36 minutes.

A trio of Jack Robinson points, and a Johnny Byrne score helped Kildare take the lead for the first time in the 42nd minute.

This was part of a patch which saw the Lillies score 1-9 unanswered, including 1-6 in the second half, before Wicklow's first score of the closing period came through Chris O'Brien in the 63rd minute.

However, Kildare closed out the game strongly, with unanswered points from captain Hyland, Daniel Flynn, Neil Flynn, David O'Neill and Sam Doran.

Laois delivered late to make their trip to Enniscorthy worthwhile, as they claimed a first win under new manager Mike Quirke, registering a 1-12 to 1-11 win over Wexford at St. Patrick's Park.

Mark Barry was the hero for the visitors, as the O'Dempsey's clubman converted a 72nd minute pointed free to deliver a Laois win.

Wexford made the most of the first quarter, and led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 12 minutes.

Ross Munnelly converted four of Laois's first five points - all from frees, including their first score in 14 minutes at the start of the second quarter.

Barry fired the lone goal of the first half, as Laois led by 1-5 to 0-6 after 24 minutes, to help them to a four-point interval lead.

Wexford twice cut the gap to a point, in a second half which saw Laois only score one point between the 35th and 60th minutes.

The visitors done enough with Colm Murphy, Barry and Sean Michael Corcoran, claiming vital points, although Wexford's scorer-in-chief Colm Feeney (1-5) cut in for a late goal to equalise, before Barry's injury-time winner.

Offaly put in a strong second half display to help them to their second win, thanks to a 1-16 to 1-10 win over Louth in Drogheda.

John Maughan's side held the lead for much of the opening half, with five players scoring their six first half points - with Ruairi McNamee, Eoin Carroll, Jordan Hayes, Anton Sullivan and Jason Dempsey on target.

In contast Louth relied hugely on Declan Byrne who scored five of their six points, including the one which levelled the tie at 0-6 apiece at the break.

Louth pushed ahead for the first time through Ciaran Downey early on the restart, but Offaly offered a strong response.

The Faithful County fired 1-6 unanswered, including a 41st minute Anthon Sullivan goal to push them eight-points clear.

Louth were handed a life-line, after Sam Mulroy found the net for the second week in a row, with the Wee County's first score in 18 minutes.

Despite their best efforts, Louth were unable to get within five points of Offaly in the closing quarter, as Offaly held on for a six-point win.

John Heslin's 74th minute point ensured a share of the spoils for Westmeath with Meath, in their 1-13 apiece draw at St. Loman's GAA Club, Mullingar.

Both sides had their share of dominance in an entertaining contest, with the hosts leading by 0-3 to 0-2 after just eight minutes, with Heslin claiming all of their opening scores.

Meath pished ahead thanks to a 15th minute Donal Lenihan goal, before Westmeath stormed back with a 27th minute Callum McCormack goal helping them to a 1-7 to 1-5 interval lead.

The game was well balanced on the restart, with both sides holding two-point leads in the third quarter.

Meath pushed ahead for the first time in 27 minutes, and held a two-point advantage in the 64th minute, but Westmeath finished strongly, as Heslin delivered his sixth point of the game deep in injury-time to force a draw.

Meanwhile, Longford host Carlow in the last of the Round 2 games on Sunday at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (2pm).

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