Sheehan relishing final chance
Down 3-18 Roscommon 1-15
Down boss Ronan Sheehan feels the Mourne men's appearance in the upcoming Christy Ring Cup final will be a major boost for the county.
Two goals from Dáithí Sands, alongside another from his brother Eoghan, enabled the 2013 champions book their place in the final at the expense of Roscommon at Inniskeen. "We're a very young team. The average age of the panel is just 23. It's a great opportunity for us to be in Croke Park," Sheehan said.
Roscommon made a bright start with points from Shane Curley, Padraig Kelly (2) and Cathal Dolan ('65). But once Dáithí Sands goaled in the 11th minute, followed by a second green flag from Eoghan Sands five minutes later, Down had arrested Roscommon's early momentum and went on to lead by 2-8 to 0-10 at half-time.
SCORERS - Down: D Sands 2-3, P Sheehan 0-6 (5f), E Sands 1-1, O McManus, T Prenter, P Savage 0-2 each, L Savage, PJ Davidson 0-1 each. Roscommon: N Connaughton 1-2 (1f), C Dolan 0-4 (3f, 1 '65), P Kelly 0-3, C Egan, C Mulry, S Curley (1 '65) 0-2 each.
DOWN - S Keith; T Murray, C Taggart, D Mallon; M Fisher, J McManus, M Conlon; P Savage, L Savage; C O'Prey, P Sheehan, T Prenter; D Sands, E Sands, O McManus. Subs: R McCrickard for Prenter (38), PJ Davidson for O'Prey (53), R McCusker for Sheehan (62), G Hughes for Murray (67), R Blair for O McManus (70).
ROSCOMMON - N Fallon; P Kenny, P Nolan, H Rooney; C Coyle, P Kellehan, E Flanagan; D Heavey, C Dolan; C Mulry, N Connaughton, P Kelly; S Curley, C Egan, E Kenny. Subs: A Moore for Flanagan (40), G Keenan for Coyle (45), G Egan for Heavey (58).
REF - T Walsh (Waterford)
Fitzgerald: Royals will have no fears
Meath 3-24 Derry 2-18
Meath manager Nick Fitzgerald says the Christy Ring Cup final against Down will hold no fear for the Royals who justified their favourites' tag with a semi-final victory over Derry at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday.
Despite the ultimately comprehensive scoreline, it was only in the final quarter that Meath wrestled control from the Oakleafers thanks to late goals from Jack Regan, Gavin McGowan and Nicky Potterton.
The result maintains Meath's unbeaten run in the competition.
"We are going into a final unbeaten, not having dropped a game so you have to believe you are capable of winning the thing," said Fitzgerald.
SCORERS - Meath: J Regan 1-14 (12f, 1 '65), G McGowan 1-1, A Gannon 0-4, N Potterton 1-0, A Douglas 0-2, D Healy, C McCabe, S Morris 0-1 each. Derry: C O'Doherty 0-7 (4f), R Mullan 0-5 (1f), S McGuigan 1-1, G Bradley 1-0, T McHugh 0-2, M McGuigan, B óg McGilligan, T Brady 0-1 each.
MEATH - S McGann; G Murphy, D Kelly, S Whitty; S Brennan, K Keoghan, J Kelly; S Geraghty, C McCabe; D Healy, B Slevin, Jack Regan; G McGowan, A Gannon, A Douglas. Subs: C ó Mealoid for J Kelly (62), N Potterton for C McCabe (65), S Morris for B Slevin (49).
DERRY - S Kelly; P Kelly, S Cassidy, D McCloskey; M McGrath, M Craig, L óg Hinphey; M McGuigan, B óg McGilligan; T Brady, C O'Doherty, T McHugh; G Bradley, S McGuigan, R Mullan. Subs: C Kelly for M McGrath (26), J Mullan for M McGuigan (59), A Grant for B óg McGilligan (64); O McKeever for C O'Doherty (70).
REF - S Hynes (Galway)
Sharp-shooting Exiles have edge
London 2-18 Donegal 1-14
London retained their Christy Ring Cup status after they defeated 13-man Donegal in Crossmaglen on Saturday.
London got off to a dream start with a goal from Brendan McCarry after 17 seconds, but Ciarán Matthewson's penalty settled Donegal and they led by 1-7 to 1-1 after 22 minutes.
However, Shane Lawless' goal brought London back into it and they were level by half-time.
Donegal lost Mark Callaghan and Matthewson to red cards in the second half and that really hampered their chances of a comeback.
Donegal couldn't match their opponents, with the sharp-shooting Exile David Nolan to the fore, as the Ulster men drop back down to the Nicky Rackard Cup.
SCORERS - London: D Nolan 0-7 (5f, 1 '65), S Lawless 1-2, C Nelson 0-4, B McCarry 1-0, A Sheehan 0-2 (1 '65), C Thornton, S Lohan, K Burke 0-1 each. Donegal: L Henderson 0-9 (8f, 1 '65), C Matthewson 1-3 (1-0 pen), J Boyle, PJ McCarron 0-1 each.
London - P Buckley; C McAlinden, P Muldoon, F Collins; J Kennedy, K Burke, L Murphy; M O'Dwyer, C Thornton; S Lohan, A Sheehan, S Lawless; D Nolan, B McCarry, C Nelson. Subs: D Glynn, C McSweeney, O Royston for Collins, Kennedy, Sheehan (all 74).
Donegal - P Burns; M Callaghan, S Gillespie, C Parke; N Cleary, S McVeigh, J O'Loughlin; D Cullen, J Boyle; C Matthewson, C Finn, C Flood; L Henderson, G Browne, D Duffy. Subs: PJ McCarron for Finn (20), C O'Grady for Flood (42), R Hilferty for Duffy (48), C McDermott for Cleary (57).
Ref - M Murtagh (Westmeath)