A 5-16 to 1-11 win for London, over Carlow, was the big story in Division 2A of the Allianz hurling league yesterday.
A 3-9 tally from ex-Kilmacud Crokes corner forward, Kevin O’Loughlin, powered the Exiles to a 17-point victory at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Carlow are one of just two MacCarthy Cup counties plying their trade in this league, but they never hit their stride, and trailed 2-12 to 0-3 after facing into the wind in the first-half.
Pat English’s side conceded further goals to O’Loughlin and Martin Duggan, after half-time, as the 1/25 favourites hurled far below expectations, casting huge doubt over their promotion hopes.
Antrim remain the clear favourites to top the division. They easily came back after conceding an early Jack Sheridan goal and recorded a 3-25 to 3-13 win over Kildare, at Ballycastle. Saul McCaughan’s goal, after 22 minutes, helped the Saffrons to a 1-15 to 1-6 half-time lead. Further goals, from McCaughan and Ciarán Clarke, kept Kildare at bay, while ensuring that Antrim top the table, on scoring difference, this morning.
Westmeath are also in good shape, having taken two points from their home clash with Derry, but the Oak Leaf County followed up last week’s solid display against Antrim with another strong performance here. Only their inability to threaten the Westmeath goal denied them an upset.
Frees from Brendan Murtagh helped Westmeath to a wind-assisted, 0-6 to 0-2 interval lead, and Derry quickly cut that gap by taking four of the next six points after the restart. However, the Lake men looked well-placed after Alan Devine and Derek McNicholas added second-half goals. Derry continued to press with real intent throughout the final quarter, but succumbed to a 2-11 to 0-13 defeat, after failing to score a goal.
Meath’s hopes of gaining promotion, out of Division 2B, sustained a huge blow, when they were overwhelmed by underdogs, Mayo, at Trim, losing 0-19 to 2-9. Kenny Feeney hit six of his seven points in the first-half, as Mayo used the elements to great effect, racking up a nine-point interval lead, despite conceding 1-1 from Seán Quigley’s stick inside the first seven minutes. Meath never looked like threatening after the restart, however, and Keith Keoghan’s goal came far too late to put any pressure on the Connacht county.
Down were never seriously tested by Wicklow, as early goals from Caolan Baile and Scott Nicholson left the Garden County with a mountain to climb at Newry. It was one they never looked like scaling. Ryan Brannigan and Danny Toner added further goals, while Aaron O’Prey (Down), and Wicklow players, Eugene Dunne and Gavin Weir, all received red cards during the late exchanges. Armagh were the other winners in the division, prevailing by 2-14 to 1-8 against Donegal.
Roscommon took control of Division 3A, after Adrian Murphy’s goal gave them a 1-12 to 0-10 win over Monaghan, at Athleague, while two early goals from JM Sheridan, and a late one from Kieran O’Sullivan, ensured their likely rivals, Tyrone, fell to a 4-10 to 1-17 defeat to Fingal at Healy Park.
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