Division 2A favourites Antrim, Westmeath, and Carlow all recorded wins yesterday, with the Lake County taking two points from their trip to London, while Antrim and Carlow came through tricky derby fixtures after falling to early deficits against Derry and Kildare respectively.
Rúairí Convery’s accurate free-taking and a goal from Gareth O’Kane helped Derry to a 1-8 to 0-6 interval lead against the Saffrons at Owenbeg, but Antrim struck eight of the first nine scores of the second half, one of which was Donal Nugent’s decisive goal. Kevin McKernan hit four second-half points from play as the Saffrons led before Convery’s goal from a close-range free, reducing the final deficit to six points — 1-21 to 2-12.
Kehoe Cup champions Kildare were 0-10 to 0-4 ahead of Carlow after half an hour at Newbridge but a Ross Smithers goal and two quick-fire Carlow points before the interval undid their good work.
Carlow hit the front after 48 minutes and soon found the net a second time through Seamus Murphy, going on to record a 2-13 to 0-14 win.
Westmeath were pillar-to-post winners against London, building on Cormac Boyle’s goal to rack up a 1-11 to 0-6 interval lead at Ruislip. Three of the first four scores of the second half went to London but critically, the other score was a Robbie Greville goal that maintained Westmeath’s commanding lead. A late penalty save from Padraig Buckley was their only hiccup en route to a 2-16 to 0-13 victory.
Down and Meath remain favourites in 2B after both sides got off to a perfect start. Down came through a tough test to record a 2-16 to 2-14 win over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds. Conor Corvan and Danny Toner traded goals in the first half before the visitors pulled away with the aid of the wind, adding a second goal through Conor Woods to lead by seven with 12 minutes left. Armagh dug in and added another goal through Corvan, but ultimately it came too late.
Meath easily overcame Wicklow 0-22 to 0-13 at Arklow to top the division, with Joey Keena (0-7, 0-6f) and Clonoulty-Rossmore native Timmy Hammersley (0-3) impressing.
A spirited Donegal fell short as Mayo won 1-14 to 0-13 at McHale Park, despite trailing by 0-10 to 0-3 at half-time and losing Ronan McDermott in the second half. Kevin Campbell and Lee Henderson hit back for Donegal but Kenny Feeney’s goal after 47 minutes left them with too much to do.
In Division 3A, Liam Kilcline’s goal helped Roscommon to a 1-16 to 1-14 win over Louth at Darver, while a late Conor Grogan goal settled Tyrone and wrapped up a 2-18 to 2-13 win over Monaghan.
Fingal top the table after a 4-18 to 1-6 landslide win over Warwickshire at DCU.
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