Another exciting round of games in the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge took place this week, with wins for Westmeath over Meath and Wicklow Blue over Carlow.
Kildare were the odd team out this week but they will get back into action against Carlow at Training Centre Fenagh next Wednesday.
Read our round-up of all of this week’s action from Group D below.
Wicklow Make It Two From Two With Win Over Gutsy Carlow
Wicklow Blue 6-17 Carlow 0-10
Wicklow picked up an excellent victory over their near-neighbours Carlow in their second game of Group D in the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.
The visitors started very quickly with a well-taken score from John Toomey with just 90 seconds on the clock. Carlow soon replied with a well taken 65 from James Doyle.
The opening exchanges were evenly contested but the game swung in the direction of Wicklow when corner forward Brian Keogh finished a beautiful move to the back of the Carlow net in the 16th minute to make it 1-1 to 0-2 in favour of the Garden County.
Carlow were soon level with a couple of quick-fire points from Dylan Townsend. Wicklow found the net for a second time on 19 minutes with a lovely groundstroke which fizzed past the Carlow keeper.
James Doyle was one of Carlow’s finest performers on the day and kept them in the game with a beauty of a 65 to raise the white flag once again.
Wicklow took a commanding lead just before half-time thanks to Torna Mulconry whose quick brace left the score 4-7 to 0-7 at the break.
At the start of the second period, Wicklow continued to look strong with points as Eoin Young’s ability from placed balls saw him notch up a number of scores while at the other end Dylan Townsend raised a white flag for Carlow.
On 43 minutes, Wicklow added a fifth goal with a rocket from John Toomey but to Carlow’s credit, they kept fighting and battling until the very end in a game that was played in tremendous spirit.
Wicklow grabbed their last goal of the game from Brian Keogh as they picked up an excellent victory.
Carlow’s Best and Fairest player was Diego Dunne while Wicklow’s Best and Fairest player Adam Bushe set the tempo for Wicklow right from the start.
Report by: Shea Hayes
Carlow: Ciaran Joyce, Shane Cody, Daniel Culleton, Eamon Normanly, Jamie Behan, Diego Dunne, Fionn Murphy, Oisin Kelly, Robert Stafford, Jamie Ayres, Billy Fitzpatrick, James Doyle, Dylan Townsend, Donal Murphy, James Bible.
Replacements: Conor Bolger, Colm Beck, Donal Quirke, Mark Dermody, Mark Fitzgerald, Kevin Cullen, Stephen Lawlor, Shane Cowman, Jack Dunne.
Wicklow: Meitheal Cleary, John Young, Oisin Brogan, Darren Reilly, Eoin Kavanagh, Shane Browne, Adam Bushe, Jake O’Kelly, John Toomey, Pj O’Connor, Owen Young, James McGing, Torna Mulconry, Liam Somers, Brian Keogh
Replacements: Brandon Ryan, Paddy Dunne, Rory Mulcahy, Jack Reid, Ben Burke.
Westmeath Impress In Trim Victory
Meath 4-10 Westmeath 5-18
Westmeath were the victors in a high scoring affair in Trim in the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge on Wednesday night.
Initially, it was Meath who threatened in the opening minute when Shaun Donnelly put in a lovely puck from the left side of the field which fell threateningly in front of goal and was flicked home at close range by Jack Meagher for what Meath thought was the opening goal.
However, the joy was short-lived when the referee adjudged that Meagher had entered the square before the ball and disallowed the score.
Westmeath soon took control with Mark Cunningham imposing himself on the game with strong penetrating runs from midfield creating openings for the forwards and Westmeath proceeded to score 2-5 to Meath’s 0-2 in the opening quarter of the game, Aaron Ready providing the killer blows with both goals.
Meath kept fighting however and did score a goal of their own through Meagher in the 24th minute but only after Ready had picked up his hat-trick following a lovely lay-off from Mark Cully. When half time arrived Westmeath had racked up a lead of 10 points with a score of Meath 1-5 Westmeath 3-9.
Westmeath continued their good spell in the second half scoring a further 1-6 to Meath’s 0-2 in the first 15 minutes with the prolific Eamon Cuneen deadly from frees and open play.
The Meath backs fought hard to stem the tide with Harry Cottrell battling to come out with the sliotar breaking down many attacks.
Meath then rallied in the final quarter of the game and managed to find the back of the net on three occasions to reduce the deficit and secure the bonus point on offer for scoring more than two goals.
Westmeath played some impressive hurling throughout the game however there is more to come from this Meath team who are next up against a highflying Wicklow team who are undefeated in the opening two rounds.
Harry Cottrell was awarded the Best and Fairest award for Meath while and Mark Cully picked up the accolade for Westmeath.
Report by: Paul Hamilton
Meath: Ryan Douglas; Simon O’Keefe, Harry Cottrell, Eoin Donegan; Drew Hamilton, Luke Moran, Gavin Halton; Cian Smith, Matthew Cully(0-1); Sean Donnelly(0-5)(c), Jack Meagher(3-1), Joey Cole(1-2); Eoghan McCormack, Martin Campbell, Liam Callanan.
Replacements: Liam Boyle, Ciaran Rogers, Harry Smyth, Rory Fagan, Evan Cole, Sean McKenna(0-1), Evan Geoghegan.
Westmeath: Oisín Loughlan; Peter Dalton, Michael Lynam, Jamie Reilly; Cian McCarthy, David Weir, Aaron Fenlon; Warrick Kirby, Mark Cunningham; Oisín Murray, Michael Moffatt, Eamon Cunneen, Oliver McClair; Mark Cully; Aaron Ready.
Replacements: Michael Doherty, Tomas Turks, Brian McGrath, Ryan Boyne, Ryan Forde, Brian Gaffney, Oisin Kiernan, Liam Maxwell, Donal Mulvihill, Luke Smith