National Hurling League: Antrim stun Clare, Cork outgun Waterford, Wexford too strong for Laois

A round-up of Sunday’s National Hurling League action. Antrim stunned Clare, while Cork overcame Waterford in a high-scoring contest.

Cork 5-22 Waterford 1-27

Pairc Uí Chaoimh played host to perhaps the most entertaining clash of the weekend, as Cork and Waterford locked horns. There was a lightning-fast pace in the first half, with the Lee-siders working their way into the ascendancy.

The Rebels employed a quick-passing game, and it paid dividends as they asked questions of the Deise rearguard. They built up a narrow lead at the first water break, before eventually finding the net. A well-worked team move culminated in Darragh Fitzgibbon picking out Robbie O’Flynn with a hand-pass, and the Erin’s Own man beat Billy Nolan in the Waterford goal.

Patrick Horgan continued to convert placed balls as Cork built a 1-12 to 0-8 lead at half-time.

Waterford needed a quick start to the second half, but it was Cork who flew out of the traps. Jack O’Connor’s 43rd-minute goal put 11 points between the teams, and Waterford looked dead and buried.

However, Liam Cahill’s charges then clicked into gear. Kieran Bennett, Austin Gleeson and Iarlaith Daly all picked off points as they began to chip into the hosts’ lead. That brought the gap down to six at the second water break.

The stoppage stemmed their momentum, however, and it was the Cork substitutes who made the bigger impact. Shane Kingston was the first to strike for a goal, before Alan Connolly bagged a quickfire double.

Stephen Bennett did find the net for the Deise, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Cork: Patrick Collins; Niall O’Leary, Damien Cahalane, Sean O’Donoghue; Tim O’Mahony (0-2, 0-1 free), Mark Coleman, Niall Cashman; Billy Hennessy, Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-3); Robbie O’Flynn (1-1), Luke Meade (0-1), Seamus Harnedy (0-1); Jack O’Connor (1-0), Patrick Horgan (0-12, 0-8 frees, 0-3 ’65), Shane Barrett (0-2).

Subs: Shane Kingston (1-0), Alan Connolly (2-0).

Waterford: Billy Nolan; Ian Kenny, Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty (0-1); Mark O’Brien, Iarlaith Daly (0-1), Kieran Bennett (0-3); Darragh Lyons, Calum Lyons; Jack Fagan (0-1), Conor Gleeson, Neil Montgomery; Stephen Bennett (1-12, 0-7 frees, 0-1 ’65), Austin Gleeson (0-5), Colin Dunford.

Subs: Mikey Kearney (0-2), Michael Kiely (0-1), Patrick Curran (0-1).

NHL Division 1A

Antrim 1-21 Clare 0-22

Antrim stunned Clare in Corrigan Park, holding out for a dramatic two-point victory.

Darren Gleeson’s charges faced a strong wind in the first half, but were filled with confidence when trailing just 0-16 to 1-11 at the break. Ciaran Clarke scored the goal to eat into the Banner’s lead which was built thanks to eight first-half points from Tony Kelly.

From there, Clarke and Neil McManus spearheaded an impressive second-half fight, taking the lead and beating the Banner down the home straight.

David Reidy levelled it for Clare after 68 minutes, but late scores from McManus and Clarke sealed a famous victory for the Ulster side.

It is a particularly pleasing result for Antrim, having won promotion back to the top tier in both league and championship for 2021.

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Aontroim : 1-21(24)
An Clár: 0-22(22)

Yes ladssss hon the Saffs🟡⚪️ pic.twitter.com/45RJnbMQd2

Wexford 4-17 Laois 0-10

Wexford had too much for Seamus ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett’s Laois side, in a comfortable 19-point victory.

The Yellowbellies played against the wind in the first half, but nonetheless built an eight-point lead at half-time thanks to two goals from Mickie Dwyer.

The 2019 Leinster champions continued to push on after the break, and Davy Fitzgerald introduced Lee Chin and Rory O’Connor from the bench.

Lee Cleere became the first player to fall victim to hurling’s new sin-bin rule. The Laois corner-back was given his marching orders for 10 minutes, after dragging O’Connor to the ground. Chin failed to convert the resulting penalty however, with his shot going straight at Enda Rowland.

Nonetheless, the Model County finished with a flourish, scoring 2-2 in injury-time. O’Connor found the net, before Diarmuid O’Keeffe set up midfield partner Conor Hearne for the fourth.

Wexford: Seamus Casey (0-1, 0-1 free); Damien Reck, Liam Ryan, Conor Firman; Gavin Bailey (0-2), Simon Donohoe (0-2), Conal Flood; Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-2), Conor Hearne (1-1); Harry Kehoe (0-3, 0-1 free), Jack O’Connor (0-1 – 0-1 ’65), Mikie Dwyer (2-0); David Dunne, Conor McDonald (0-1), Kevin Foley.

Subs: Lee Chin (0-3, 0-3 frees), Rory O’Connor (1-0), Conor Devitt (0-1).

Laois: Enda Rowland; Lee Cleere, Sean Downey, Donnchadh Hartnett; Jack Kelly (0-1), Podge Delaney, Ryan Mullanney; Fiachra Fennell, Paddy Purcell (0-1); Aaron Dunphy, Charlie Dwyer, Ciaran Collier; PJ Scully (0-5, 0-4 frees), Roddy King (0-3), Ciaran Comerford.

NHL Division 1B

Division 2A

Offaly got their promotion push off to the perfect start, with a comprehensive 3-25 to 3-9 win over Meath in Navan.

Eoghan Cahill led the scoring for the Faithful County with 0-13, while Oisin Kelly, Adrian Hynes and Shane Kinsella all found the net for Michael Fennelly’s side.

Meanwhile, Kerry and Carlow also picked up big wins. The Kingdom defeated Down, 4-18 to 0-19, while the Barrowsiders had too much for Wicklow, winning 3-19 to 0-17.

NHL Division 2A

Division 2B

Mayo edged Derry, 0-21 to 1-16 at MacHale Park. The Westerners held out for the victory with Shane Boland scoring 0-8, while newly appointed captain Keith Higgins notched 0-3 from full-forward.

🟢🔴 Rd1 Allianz Hurling League 2B.
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Mayo 0-21
Derry 1-16 pic.twitter.com/CWfQCLkQJB

Elsewhere, Donegal defeated Roscommon on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-11.

NHL Division 2B

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