Clarke strikes keep Kildare at bay
CHRISTY RING CUP
Antrim got their Christy Ring Cup SH campaign off to a winning start after overcoming Kildare by 3-20 to 0-17 at Parnell Park yesterday afternoon.
Most of the damage was done in the first-half with a brace of Ciarán Clarke goals helping the Ulster county to a healthy 2-13 to 0-5 interval lead.
Kildare improved after the restart with Gerry Keegan landing 11 points in total but their fate was sealed as John Dillon netted 12 minutes from time for Antrim. Debutant Gavin McGowan hit two opening-half goals as Meath comfortably saw off Wicklow by 3-18 to 2-12 at Trim.
The hosts led 2-8 to 1-3 at the break and added a third goal from Neil Heffernan early in the second half. Meath 'keeper Shane McGann made a number of outstanding saves before John Henderson found the net for Wicklow late on.
London laid the seeds for their 2-17 to 2-10 victory over Down with a dominant first-half display. Playing with a strong breeze they opened up a nine-point gap in the first period, despite an early Chris Egan goal for Down.
The lead was short-lived for within a minute Kevin Reid had found Kevin O'Loughlin who shot past Stephen Keith. Down had withdrawn their forwards but the result was constant possession for London whose half-back line of man of the match Ger Mahon, Brian Regan and Thomas Lawrence were dominant. The constant pressure yielded frees and although Kevin O'Loughlin did stray on three occasions he still notched four scores as London led by 1-11 to 1-2 at half-time.
After 20 minutes of the second half London were still 10 points ahead but when Chris Egan got his second goal Down had momentum. They reduced the gap to three with five minutes left before Shane O'Donnell blasted to the Down net.
Sunday Indo Sport