Wednesday 29 January 2020

Finn brace fires Exiles past Farney

London booked an Ulster SHC quarter-final date with Derry when they overcame Monaghan at Casemnent Park yesterday on a scoreline of 3-16 to 1-15.

Paul Stephenson and Martin Finn hit the net to help them to a 2-7 to 1-7 interval lead, with Kevin Boylan netting for the Farney men.

Finn grabbed his second soon after the restart, and the Exiles staged a strong finish after Michael McHugh, who finished with a 13-points tally, had narrowed the gap to two with a quarter of an hour to play.

In the second game of the afternoon at Casement, Armagh breezed through to the last eight with a comfortable 3-20 to 2-9 win over Tyrone. Brian McNaughton hit a hat-trick as the Orchard men set up a quarter-final meeting with Down.

Two McNaughton goals and six Paul Breen points helped Armagh to a commanding 2-14 to 0-5 interval lead and although Tyrone improved in the second half as Conor Grugan and David Lavery struck back with goals, but McNaughton completed his treble six minutes from the end to complete the rout.

Kerry boss John Meyler will be pleased with the 3-14 to 2-11 win over Westmeath in the Christy Ring Cup quarter-final yesterday at the Austin Stack Park, Tralee. Despite an average performance, the victory guarantees them a home semi-final in three weeks' time.

Kerry's Darragh O'Connell racked up a tally of 1-9. Further goals from Shane Nolan on the stroke of half-time plus a third from veteran John Mike Dooley in the 48th minute gave Kerry an eight-point cushion entering the final quarter.

Towards the end Westmeath rallied with two goals from substitute Dan Carty in the 60th and 63rd minute to ensure a nervous finish for the Kingdom. However, three pointed frees from O'Connell and a superb effort from John Griffin ensured that Kerry and Meyler remain unbeaten in the competition so far.

In round 2B of the Christy Ring Cup Meath overcame Derry 2-16 to 0-15. Goals in each half from Noel Kirby secured Meath's surprise win at Banagher yesterday.

Kirby's first-half strike ensured the Royals only trailed 1-5 to 0-9 at the break and his second major 10 minutes into the second half swayed the verdict in the visitors' favour. Neil Hackett was also in top form for the winners, scoring eight points.

Elsewhere, 14-man Down, who lost wing-back Ruari McGrath on a straight red after just four minutes, proved too strong for Mayo. The Connacht side were dumped out of the Christy Ring Cup at Charlestown yesterday, losing 3-19 to 2-12.

Leading by 1-9 to 0-8 at half-time, Down were pushed hard for the opening 10 minutes of the second half as Mayo clipped the lead back to a single point thanks to a fine goal from substitute Ronan Cullinane.

However, the northerners kicked on to win comfortably in the end, 1-12 from their top gun James Coyle and a second-half goal from Andy Savage easing their worries.

Kildare needed a goal from man of the match David Harney six minutes from the end to secure a 1-19 to 1-16 victory against 14-man Wicklow in Newbridge.

The Division 3B champions had Thomas Doyle sent off for a wild pull on Neil O Muineachain after just 17 minutes but remained competitive throughout.

Andy O'Brien's 26th-minute goal helped them go in at half-time leading by 1-8 to 0-9 and for a long time it looked like a shock was on the cards. Harney struck the telling blow for Kildare though, finishing to the net to edge Andy Comerford's men clear.

Sunday Independent

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