Div 2 round-up: Doyle fires Westmeath into top flight
Westmeath 0-12 Kerry 0-10 (Allianz HL Div 2A final)
Westmeath manager Joe Quaid says promotion to Division 1 of the league will have huge long-term benefits for the county.
Westmeath hurlers haven't played in the top flight since 1987 but six points from Killian Doyle helped them to a brilliant comeback victory at Cusack Park in Ennis.
Kerry were 0-9 to 0-4 in front at half-time but with the strong wind, and sometimes snow, at their backs, Westmeath fought their way to the Division 2A title.
"The trophy and medals for this isn't what it's about. It's about Westmeath coming out of the hat next year in Division 1," said former Limerick goalkeeper Quaid.
"It's like a Limerick moment in the All-Ireland. It was 45 years until they won an All-Ireland, it's 32 years since Westmeath played in Division 1.
"For a county with the hurlers that they have it shouldn't be that long."
Westmeath captain Aonghus Clarke opted to play against the wind and was boosted by early points from Niall Mitchell and Killian Doyle.
But once Shane Conway drew the sides level in the seventh minute, Kerry wrestled control. Fintan O'Connor's side didn't trail again until the hour, although they didn't score in the closing 24 minutes.
Westmeath hit seven unanswered points as they drew level through Doyle's fifth and Derek McNicholas pointed them towards victory.
It was another chance missed for Kerry, who finished third last year and their manager was disappointed with the treatment of star forward Conway. "Westmeath set up well and marshalled Shane Conway," said O'Connor.
"At times he wasn't given as much protection as he could have been in the first half. I didn't appreciate the way he was singled out coming up to the game either."
Scorers - Westmeath: K Doyle 0-6 (2f), N Mitchell 0-3 (3f), D Clinton, A Devine (f), D McNicholas 0-1 each. Kerry: S Conway 0-6 (4f), P Boyle 0-2, D Collins, J Goulding (s/l) 0-1 each.
Westmeath - A McHugh 8; D Egerton 7, T Doyle 9, G Greville 7; P Greville 7, A Clarke 8, C Shaw 7; S Clavin 7, C Boyle 7; J Boyle 7, K Doyle 9, R Greville 7; A Devine 8, D Clinton 7, N Mitchell 8. Subs: D McNicholas 7 for Mitchell (44), J Galvin 7 for Clinton (53), A Craig 6 for P Greville (67), C Doyle 6 for J Boyle (73).
Kerry - J B O'Halloran 8; J O'Connor 6; B Murphy 7, S Weir 6; P Costello 6, J Diggins 7, F MacKessy 7; D Collins 7, B Barrett 6; P Boyle 8, S Conway 8, M O'Leary 6; J Goulding 7, M Boyle 6, J Conway 7. Subs: D Goggin 6 for M Boyle (51), T O'Connor 6 for Costello (62), D Griffin 6 for J Conway (66), J Buckley 6 for Weir (73).
Ref - R McGann (Clare) inj; N Wall (Cork)
Boland's accuracy key for Mayo
Mayo 0-16 London 1-10 (Allianz HL Div 2A)
Late points from Seán Regan, James Gallagher and Brian Hunt helped Mayo maintain their Division 2A status at the expense of London at Ruislip.
London had pulled level with less than 10 minutes to go, thanks to substitute Cillian McSweeney.
But second-half red cards for Kevin Reid and Garrett Lenihan robbed the Exiles of zip and energy going into that crucial final phase.
The teams traded early scores before a precision ball from Colin Nelson picked out Tadhg Healy. He collected and fired low past Ger Hogan in the Mayo goal.
But back came Mayo with quick-fire points from Regan and Shane Boland. The latter's accuracy from frees made a telling contribution on the day.
The Tooreen man's seven points will have felt like double that, particularly with the stakes so high.
Scorers - Mayo: S Boland 0-7 (5f), S Regan 0-4, E Ryan 0-2, M O'Dwyer, J Gallagher, B Hunt 0-1 each.
London: A Sheehan 0-5; T Healy 1-1; C Allis, S Conlon, C Nelson, C McSweeney 0-1 each.
Mayo - G Hogan 6; C Murray, 6, C Daly 7, S Mulroy 7; B Hunt, 6, S Coyne 6, C Freeman 7; D Kenny 8, P Kiely, 7; J Gallagher 8, S Regan 7, B Morley 6; S Boland 9, E Ryan 7, L Hurley 7. Subs: C Scahill 6 for Morley (50), P O'Flynn 6 for Kiely (51), C Henry for Ryan (70).
London - M Burke 6; C McAlinden 6, P Muldoon 6, F Collins 7; K Burke 5, G Lenihan 4, B Hickey; C Thornton 6, C Nelson7; M O'Dwyer 7, K Reid 4, S Conlon 7; A Sheehan 7, T Healy 6, C Allis 6. Subs: D Glynn 6 for Conlon (52), C McSweeney 6 for O'Dwyer (59).
Ref - S Stack (Clare)
Boland pushes Wicklow up
Wicklow 1-9 Derry 0-8 (Div 2B final)
Michael Boland's goal in the dying embers of the game sealed victory and promotion to Division 2A for Wicklow at a weather-beaten Inniskeen yesterday.
The Oak Leafers never took full advantage of a breeze and only led by two at the break.
John McEvoy's men raced into a three-point lead before Christy Moorehouse opened the Garden County's account on 11 minutes.
Two scores from Eoin McCormack at the beginning of the second half drew Wicklow level before Brendan Rogers opened Derry's account in the 46th minute.
Derry edged two in front despite the tough conditions before Eamonn Kearns levelled, and extra-time looked ominous.
A goal would assure victory and Wicklow got just that as Michael Boland rattled the back of the net.
Scorers - Wicklow: M Boland 1-0, C Moorehouse (2f), E McCormack, A O'Brien, E Kearns 0-2 each, E Donohue 0-1. Derry: R Mullan 0-5 (4f), B Rogers 0-2, S McGuigan 0-1.
Derry - S Kelly 6; P Kelly 6, S Cassidy 6, R McCartney 6; C Kelly 6, B McGilligan 6, L Hinphey 6; T Brady 6, P Cleary 6; G Bradley 6, R Mullan 8, M McGuigan 6; C Waldron 7, S McGuigan 7, M McGrath 6. Subs: B Rogers 7 for McGilligan (26), J Mullan 6 for Brady (HT), N Waldron 6 for Cleary (45), N Ferris 6 for S McGuigan (69).
Wicklow - C Staunton 6; B Kearney 6, B Cuddihy 6, M O'Brien 6; G Byrne 6, S Kelly 6, W Kavanagh 7; J Henderson, J Doyle 6; E McCormack 9, E Donohue 8, D Staunton 6; C Moorehouse 7, A O'Brien 6, J O'Neill 6. Subs: E Kearns 7 for Kearney (10), M Boland for O'Neill (50), L Evans 6 for Donohue (64), R Keddy 6 for Moorehouse (70).
Ref: T Walsh (Waterford)
Allen the key for Warwickshire
Warwickshire 2-10 Donegal 0-14 (Div 2B relegation play-off)
Warwickshire manager Chris Brough was delighted to see his side secure safety with a two-point victory over Donegal in Longford.
“Delighted to get the result, the lads are delighted. We’ve kept our status in Division 2B,” Brough said.
The Warwickshire boss spoke of how it’s difficult for his team to get games with a competitive edge.
“It’s massive for us because we’re not blessed in getting as many games as we can. It’s easier for teams here (in Ireland) to get that competitive edge. More games will bring us on again next year,” he added.
Donegal manager, Mickey McCann, rued his side’s missed opportunities and all-round poor play.
“I thought we were a better team than Warwickshire, but a very, very poor performance from us today.
“Missed a lot of chances. They got a lucky enough goal at the start of the second half and we never came back from it,” McCann said.
Scorers – Warwickshire: W Allen 0-7 (5f), K Magee 1-1, E McCabe 1-0, N Kennedy, J Collins (’65) 0-1 each. Donegal: D Coulter 0-4 (2f), L Henderson 0-3 (2f), C Mathewson, J O’Loughlin 0-2 each, K Kealy, J Boyle, S McVeigh 0-1 each.
Warwickshire – P Crean 8; T Kelly 7, D Bruen 8, K Meaney 7; M O’Regan 7, J Collins 7, P Scally 7; R Curley 7, D King 7; N Kennedy 7, W Allen 9, I Dwyer 7; E McCabe 8, D O’Neill 7, K Magee 8. Subs: R O’Donoghue 6 for Kennedy (70).
Donegal – P Burns 6; P Doherty 6, C McDermott 6, M Callaghan 6; J O’Loughlin 7, G Browne 5, S Gillespie 6; D Cullen 7, J Boyle 5; L Henderson 6, S McVeigh 7, R McDermott 5; K Kealy 5, D Coulter 6, C Mathewson 6. Subs: C Finn 5 for Kealy (h-t).
Ref – A Ferguson (Fermanagh).