Wednesday 12 December 2018

Westmeath into McDonagh final

Joe McDonagh Cup: Westmeath 2-19 Antrim 1-20

Westmeath finished strongly and rode their luck when the visitors had a goal from Conor McCann disallowed (stock picture)
Westmeath finished strongly and rode their luck when the visitors had a goal from Conor McCann disallowed (stock picture)

Westmeath booked their place in the inaugural Joe McDonagh Cup final with a hard-earned win against Antrim in ideal conditions for hurling at Mullingar yesterday.

There was very little between the teams in a tight first half with Neil McManus' six-point haul boosting Antrim's chances. However, Westmeath pounced for two opportunist goals at crucial times. Ciaran Doyle found the net in the 14th-minute after Ryan Elliott had saved Eoin Price's initial effort to level the tie at 1-3 to 0-6. The home team led by four points when Niall O'Brien scored a classy goal in the 33rd minute, and Westmeath led by 2-12 to 0-10 at the break.

Antrim hit back with an unanswered 1-6 in the third quarter. The goal was scored by sub Keelan Molloy in the 48th minute and with McManus unerring from placed balls, Antrim seemed set for a vital win. However, Westmeath finished strongly and rode their luck when the visitors had a goal from Conor McCann disallowed. Westmeath finished with 14 men, Brendan Doyle picking up a second yellow card in the 66th minute.

Scorers - Westmeath: A Devine 0-7 (3fs, 3 65s), C Doyle, N O'Brien 1-2 each, N Mitchell 0-3, L Varley 0-2, A Clarke, P Greville, R Greville 0-1 each; Antrim: N McManus 0-13 (7fs), K Molloy 1-0, C McCann 0-2, C Johnston, E Campbell, J Dillon, P Burke, N Elliott 0-1 each.

Westmeath: P Carroll; S Power, T Doyle, B Doyle; L Varley, P Greville, D McNicholas; E Price, J Boyle; A Clarke, R Greville, N O'Brien; A Devine, N Mitchell, C Doyle. Subs: J Gilligan for Boyle (56), D Clinton for C Doyle (60).

Antrim: R Elliott; A Graffin, J Dillon, C McKinley; S McCrory, P Burke, D Kearney; J McNaughton, E Campbell; C McCann, N McManus, N Elliott; E McCloskey, C Johnston, C Clarke. Subs: K Molloy for McCloskey (h-t), D McKinley for McNaughton (45), D McCloskey for Elliott (69).

Referee: R McGann (Clare).

Carlow 2-25 Laois 2-15

Kerry boosted their hopes of retaining their Joe McDonagh status with a crucial victory at Pairc Tailteann yesterday.

The dismissal of Alan Douglas for a second yellow card offence following a foul on John Buckley on 29 minutes dented Meath hopes of a first win of the campaign. They led 0-7 to 0-5 at that stage and finished the half leading 0-8 to 0-6.

Padraig Boyle converted two frees within three minutes of the second half to level matters and he then gave his side a lead they never relinquished subsequently.

At the end of the third quarter the Kingdom led 0-17 to 0-10 with Boyle and Shane Conway prominent in the scoring.

Meath threatened a revival in the closing stages as Paddy Conneely took his tally to seven points. The hosts registered the last two points from Joe Keena and Shane Brennan but it was Kerry who held out.

The win moves Kerry to third from bottom now, with just one series of games left.

Scorers - Kerry: S Conway 0-6 (2fs, 3'65), P Boyle 0-4 (3fs), B Barrett 0-2, D Collins, M Boyle, J Goulding, B O'Leary, B Murphy, M Stackpoole (f) 0-1 each; Meath: P Conneely 0-7 (4fs), A Gannon, K Keoghan, J Keena 0-2 each, J Kelly, S Brennan, J Regan 0-1 each.

Kerry: M Stackpoole 7; S Weir 7, J Buckley 7, B Murphy 7; B Barrett 7, D Collins 8, J O'Connor 7; J Conway 7, B O'Leary 7; D Griffin 6, M Boyle 7, B O'Mahony 7; J Goulding 6, P Boyle 8, S Conway 8. Subs: S Nolan 6 for Griffin (49), D O'Carroll 6 for Goulding (59), T Murnane for Weir (64), M O'Connor for Conway (67), S Leane for O'Connor (70).

Meath: S McGann 7; D Conneely 7, S Geraghty 7, D Kelly 7; J Keena 8, D Healy 7, K Keoghan 7; A Gannon 7, C McCabe 6; S Brennan 7, J Kelly 7, P Conneely 8; S Morris 7, A Douglas 5, G McGowan 6. Subs: N Heffernan 6 for McGowan (49), J Regan 6 for Healy (53), S Quigley 6 for Kelly (56), J Toher 6 for McCabe (59), C O Mealoid for Gannon (65),

Referee: S Hynes (Galway).

Kerry 0-18 Meath 0-16

An early Edward Byrne goal gave Carlow a dream start as they romped to victory at O'Moore Park yesterday afternoon.

Byrne's goal put Carlow on the front foot and they dominated early exchanges, with Denis Murphy (frees) and Chris Nolan adding two points each. They were six ahead, 1-7 to 0-4, after 20 minutes, but Laois launched a comeback.

A foul on Ben Conroy earned them a penalty, which 'keeper Enda Rowland scored, and they rallied before half-time to get themselves level, 1-9 apiece.

There was only one team in it in the second half however, as Diarmuid Byrne's goal set Carlow on their way to victory, with John Michael Nolan imperious throughout, as Ryan Mullaney's late goal proved a mere consolation for Laois.

Scorers - Laois: S Maher 0-8 (5fs, 3 65s), R Mullaney 1-3, E Rowland 1-0 (p), W Dunphy, N Foyle, C Taylor, M Kavanagh 0-1 each Carlow: JM Nolan 0-6 (1 sl), D Murphy (f), C Nolan 0-5 each, E Byrne 1-1, P Coady 0-3, D Byrne 1-0, J Doyle, J Kavanagh 0-2 each, K McDonald 0-1 each.

Laois: E Rowland 7; J Phelan 7, L Bergin 6, C Stapleton 6; P Lawlor 6, M Whelan 6, R Mullaney 8; J Ryan 6, C Taylor 5; P Purcell 6, N Foyle 6, B Conroy 5; C Comerford 6, S Maher 6, W Dunphy 6. Subs: P McKane 5 for Comerford (ht), C Dwyer 5 for Taylor (55), M Kavanagh for Foyle (65), A Corby for Purcell (70 mins), J Kelly for Mullaney (70)

Carlow: B Tracey 6; A Corcoran 7, P Doyle 7, M Doyle 7; D Byrne 7, D English 6, R Kelly 6; J Kavanagh 7, K McDonald 7; JM Nolan 9, P Coady 7, E Byrne 7; J Doyle 6, D Murphy 6, C Nolan 8. Subs: R Smithers 6 for Murphy (55), S Murphy for C Nolan (70), E Redmond for English (72)

Referee: C McAllister (Cork)

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