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Griffin pulls strings to seal Kingdom's semi-final spot

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Andrew Breslin closes in on Enda Lyons

Andrew Breslin closes in on Enda Lyons

SPORTSFILE

Andrew Breslin closes in on Enda Lyons

Kerry carried too much firepower for Derry as they marched on to the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup. Kerry had a strong wind in the opening half and shot nine wides as they led 0-10 to 0-4 at the interval when they really should have been out of sight.

However, Kerry, with John Griffin sweeping at the back to perfection and John Egan inspirational in his return after a year's absence due to a leg break, took over and maintained their six-point advantage with Egan firing over two beauties, while Derry only managed two Paddy Henry frees, and a point each from Kevin Hinphey and Conor McSorley.

Nine points from corner-forward Shane Nolan wasn't enough for Derry who will now play a quarter-final. The final score was 0-14 to 0-8.

Meath trailed by five points at half-time at St Conleth's Park in Newbridge, but they gradually reeled in Kildare over the course of the second half before striking decisively in extra-time to secure a 0-22 to 1-16 victory and their place in the semis.

Gerry Keegan's goal in the second minute gave Kildare a narrow edge throughout the first half. However, they had goalkeeper Paul Dermody to thank for keeping their hopes alive after the break as he made two wonderful saves.

The visitors had all the momentum going into overtime and once Paul Divilly was sent off for an off-the-ball offence, the Royals cut loose with a sequence of fine scores.

In Div 2B action Wicklow defeated Mayo 4-19 to 3-10. Andy O'Brien put Mayo to the sword at Arklow with a super attacking display as he powered Wicklow to a 12-point win.

Two rapid-fire goals by wing-forward Kenny Feeney after 20 minutes sent Mayo in at half-time leading by 2-8 to 1-7, but Wicklow dominated play in the second half with corner-forward O'Brien their shinning star as he matched the Mayo total of 3-10 on his own.

In Crossmaglen Down cruised through to the quarter-finals with a 1-11 to 1-20 victory over Armagh. The visitors led 0-12 to 0-5 at half-time and extended their lead through a goal from substitute Donal Hughes in the 49th minute.

Tyrone booked their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable 2-19 to 1-10 victory over Monaghan at Killyclogher.

Conor Grogan cracked in two first-half goals to give the home side control, with Tadgh Campbell netting a Monaghan goal. The Red Hands led by 2-9 to 1-7 at the break and defended solidly in the second half, pulling clear with quality scores from Damien Casey Conor Grogan and Matthew Mulgrew.

Meanwhile in Athleague Seán McVeigh's 43rd-minute goal proved decisive as Donegal shocked Roscommon for the second year in succession with a 1-16 t0 0-16 victory.

Donegal, who trailed by three points at the break, showcased their superior fitness in the second half and Ciaran Mathewson's accuracy from frees steered them home. Gerry Fallon hit 10 points, all from frees, for the home side, but they were outscored by 1-9 to 0-6 during the second period.

Fermanagh and Warwickshire shared the spoils at Brewster Park yesterday in an evenly contested encounter that finished on a 0-15 to 1-12 scoreline.

Both sides had won their opening games and if they win their final game in the group, the sides will go on to meet again in the final at Croke Park.

Warwickhsire enjoyed the better of things in the first half and a goal from Sean Hennessey helped them into a two point half-time lead (1-5 to 0-6).

And it seemed that they were in control when Fermanagh had midfielder Danny Teague red carded eight minutes into the second half.

However, the Ernemen rallied and hit back to level things up. Indeed, the sides were to be level five times in an exciting second half with Sean Corrigan putting Fermanagh ahead four minutes from time before a Hennessey free ensured that Warewickshire would not return home empty handed.

While in Glennon Brothers Pease Park, Longford bounced back from last week's defeat to Warwickshire with a 3-12 to 0-7 win over Leitrim.

Longford inflicted most of the damage in the early stages with goals from John Newman and Joe O'Brien in the eighth and 10th minutes putting them in a strong position and when Karl Murray shot to the back of the Leitrim net in the 28th minute, the home county ended up in a commanding 3-8 to 0-4 lead at the break to put the issue beyond all doubt.

Irish Independent