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Allianz HL D2: Kildare on the cusp
Allianz Hurling League Division Two 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 Burkes tenth point of the afternoon in the sixth minute of stoppage time salvaged a 2-17 to 0-23 draw for them at Glenisk OConnor Park this afternoon. The result means that with both teams tied on nine points, Kildares 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 Kellys 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 Cahills 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 Molumphys 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 Daith Sands, Pearse g McCrickard two, Paul Sheehan two, Chris Egan and Tom Grattan pushed them 0-12 to 0-9 in front at half-time, and Tom Grattans 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 ODoherty 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.
SLIGO 1-14 WICKLOW 0-12
MEATH 2-22 LONDON 2-21
DONEGAL 1-18 TYRONE 1-17
There was very little at stake in two of the three games in Division 2B this afternoon, as the only business left to be resolved was who would play Wicklow in next weekends league semi-final.
Sen Duffins first half goals was cancelled out by a strike from Donegals Rair Campbell in the first half at ODonnell Park in Letterkenny, and a nip and tuck tie stayed in the balance right up until the closing minutes, when it looked like Tyrone might sneak the win or draw they needed to keep their promotion chase alive. Jack OLoughlin, Ruairi Campbell and Oisn Marley fired the last three points of the game to flip the script however, with Marleys effort from out on the sideline worthy of winning any game.
Wicklow put in an anaemic display at Markievicz Park so a goal from Toms Cawley was able to give Sligo their first win of the campaign and give them a boost in advance of next Sundays relegation final against London, though the Exiles will also feel relatively good about themselves after they ran table toppers Meath very close at McGovern Park in Ruislip.
Eoghan McHugh and Jack Goulding found the back of the netfor London as they led by 2-11 to 1-11 at half-time, though Eamon Donnchadha's second goal of the tie in the 40th minute edged Meath back in front. The sides were never separated by much right up until the final whistle, when Jack Regans scores proved to be the difference between the teams.