Allianz Hurling League round-up: Wexford cement control over Division 1B as Galway run riot
All-Ireland champions Tipperary made in three wins out of three starts when accounting for Clare at Semple Stadium in a contest which produced 49 scores but no goals.
The victory leaves the Premier County in outright leadership of Division 1A and virtually certain of a place in the quarter finals.
There is fascinating battle developing behind them. Waterford are in second spot on four points but the other four counties, Clare, Cork, Dublin and Kilkenny all have two points.
It is likely that two of these will advance to the last eight whereas the other two will play in a relegation final with the losers dropping out of the top flight next season.
After the teams were level 0-12 each, Tipperary opened up a five point gap in the third quarter (0-20; 0-15). The visitors showed admirable resilience to reduce the leeway near the end of normal time to three, but Tipp then reeled off a succession of points injury time- with John McGrath again prominent - to seal the win.
Kilkenny fashioned their first win of the League campaign when they outpointed Cork at Nowlan Park. In a goalless encounter Brian Cody’s side had seven points to spare at the final whistle.
Wexford took another step on their journey back to the top flight of the league with a facile 15 point win over Kerry. The visitors held their own in the first half and trailed by just a point at the break (0-8; 0-7).
But Davy Fitzgerald’s side took advantage of the elements after the break and were 2-11 to 0-8 ahead when Kerry’s Pa Kelly was red carded. They added another 1-7 to run out comfortable winners.
Galway had a facile 26 point victory over Laois as they chalked up the highest score of the day, 3-31, but unless Wexford drop points in the remaining two fixtures against Offaly and Laois, Galway will miss out on promotion.
Meanwhile, Derry club Slaughtneil completed the first leg of a possible double when their senior camogie team beat Sarsfield from Galway (1-10; 0-11) to win the AIB All-Ireland club title.
Their footballers meet Dr Crokes in the football decider on St Patrick’s Day while their hurling team won the Ulster title but lost to Cuala in the All-Ireland semi-final.
*The Division 2B hurling tie between Roscommon and Meath scheduled for Athleague was postponed because the pitch was unplayable.
Allianz HL Division 1A
Kilkenny 0-22 Cork 0-15, Nowlan Park
Tipperary 0-28 Clare 0-21, Semple Stadium
Allianz HL Division 1B
Galway 3-31 Laois 1-11, Pearse Stadium
Wexford 3-18 Kerry 0-12, Innovate Wexford Park
Allianz HL Division 2A
Carlow 3-22 London 2-07, Netwatch Cullen Park
Westmeath 3-29 Armagh 0-16, TEG Cusack Park
Antrim 1-16 Kildare 1-14, Cushendall
Allianz HL Division 2B
Derry 1-11 Wicklow 1-21, Celtic Park
Mayo 0-12 Down 2-23, MacHale Park
Allianz HL Division 3A
Monaghan 2-12 Louth 2-09, Inniskeen
Donegal 2-14 Tyrone 0-15, Letterkenny
Allianz HL Division 3B
Warwickshire 0-18 Leitrim 2-10, Pairc na hEireann
Fermanagh 2-15 Sligo 1-14, Irvinestown