Draw Means Hurlers Go Into League Semi-Final
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A Results
OFFALY 2-17 KILDARE 0-23
KERRY 1-20 DOWN 1-19
CARLOW 2-21 DERRY 0-16
Kildare are just 70 minutes away from Division One hurling after James Burke’s tenth point of the afternoon in the sixth minute of stoppage time salvaged a 2-17 to 0-23 draw for them at Glenisk O’Connor Park this afternoon. The result means that with both teams tied on nine points, Kildare’s superior scoring difference puts them straight through to a league final, while Offaly will host Kerry in a semi-final next weekend.
For 50 minutes of this game – the entirety of the first half and the closing 15 – Offaly were fractionally the better team. For the 20 at the start of the second half., Kildare were utterly dominant, outscoring their hosts by 0-10 to 0-1 in that period.
Johnny Kelly’s side relied on superior accuracy, largely from freetaker Eoghan Cahill, to lead by 0-13 to 0-10 at half-time, but they were in big trouble by the 55th minute. David Nally and Charlie Mitchell got goals to turn the tide however and it looked like Cahill’s last two points would see them home, before late Kildare pressure forced the equaliser.
It was also closely fought at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, where a 70th minute equaliser from Dan Goggin and an injury time winner from Philip Lucid gave Kerry a one-point win over Down.
The return to form of Shane Conway was the big positive for Stephen Molumphy’s side, as he shot 0-9 with Jordan Conway adding 1-2.
Down did most of their best hurling in the first half when a run of scores from Daithí Sands, Pearse Óg McCrickard (two), Paul Sheehan (two), Chris Egan and Tom Grattan pushed them 0-12 to 0-9 in front at half-time, and Tom Grattan’s superb goal on 52 minutes made it a five-point game before Kerry rallied.
That result meant that Derry could have averted relegation if they had overcome Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park, but they were knocked to the canvas twice in the first five minutes, as a brace of goals from Paudie Kehoe gave Carlow a dream start. Cormac O’Doherty battled manfully for the Oak Leaf men but they were shipping too much damage at the other end, with Marty Kavanagh, Paddy Boland, Richard Coady and Chris Nolan all scoring to help build up a 2-13 to 0-8 interval lead. The second half was pedestrian fare by comparison, as there was little doubt about the result, with both counties starting to turn their focus towards their next competitive outings in the Joe McDonagh and Christy Ring Cups.
Offaly: Eoghan Cahill 0-11 (9f and 1 ’65’), Charlie Mitchell 1-2, David Nally 1-0, Killian Samspon 0-2, Jason Sampson and Cillian Kiely 0-1 each.
Kildare: James Burke 0-10 (9f), Declan Flaherty and Paul Dolan 0-3 each, Gerry Keegan, Cathal Dowling and Conan Boran 0-2 each, Cian Boran 0-1.
OFFALY: Stephen Corcoran; Ben Conneely, Ciaran Burke, Dara Maher; Killian Sampson, Jason Sampson, Joey Keenaghan; Ross Ravenhill, Jack Clancy; David Nally, Cillian Kiely, Adrian Cleary; Eimhin Kelly, Charlie Mitchell, Eoghan Cahill. Subs – David King for Ravenhill (35 +3m), Paddy Clancy for Clancy (39m), Shane Dooley for Kelly (44m), Liam Langton for Kiely (54m), John Murphy for Cleary (66m),
KILDARE: Paddy McKenna; Niall O’Muineachain, Simon Leacy, Cormac Byrne; Cian Shanahan, Rian Boran, Conan Boran; Paul Dolan, Cathal McCabe; James Burke, Gerry Keegan, Jack Higgins; Brian Byrne, Cian Boran, Cathal Dowling. Subs – Declan Flaherty for Higgins (31m), Mark Delaney for Cian Boran (65m), Jack Travers for Dolan (68m),
Referee – Chris Mooney (Dublin).