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Westmeath and Carlow into Division 2A final

By Cóilín Duffy | Updated: Sunday, 20 Mar 2016 17:11 | Comments

Marty Kavanagh was on form for Carlow
Marty Kavanagh was on form for Carlow

Westmeath and Carlow will contest next Saturday's Allianz Division 2A Hurling League final after both claimed victory today.

Carlow had the upper hand over Westmeath, as the Lake County lost their first game of the campaign on a 0-20 to 1-15 scoreline at Netwatch Cullen Park.

Westmeath were in command in the opening half and led by 1-09 to 0-08 at half-time, with Brendan Murtagh netting a goal late in the half following good work by Eoin Price.

Carlow turned the tables in the second half, holding their opponents to just six points.

The hosts battled back thanks to the good work of Marty Kavanagh, James Doyle and Jack Kavanagh to level the tie at 0-13 to 1-10 after 46 minutes.

Liam Varley put Westmeath ahead and the visitors pushed two points clear, but Carlow were not to be outdone.

A monster score from Marty Kavanagh levelled the tie in the 57th minute, before Doyle handed Carlow the lead for the first time.

Doyle continued to punish Westmeath, although Michael Ryan’s charges fought back with two points, including a Cormac Boyle equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Both sides swapped quick-fire points, before Seamus Murphy handed Carlow a lead they would not relinquish.

London played their part in keeping final qualification hopes alive, with a 1-21 to 1-19 win over Antrim at the Irish TV grounds in Ruislip.

However, Carlow’s win over Westmeath ensured Fergus McMahon’s charges failed to advance to next weekend’s decider.

Aided by a slight wind, London led by 0-15 to 0-11 at half-time after a strong finish to the half, after being tied 0-07 apiece after 20 minutes.

London fired their only goal 11 minutes after the restart, with a 1-17 to 0-14 lead, but Antrim ensured a testing finish.

London led by 1-21 to 0-18 with five minutes remaining, but failed to score again.

Niall McKenna netted with four minutes remaining to cut the gap to three points, while the Saffrons added another score, but time ran out.

Kildare avoided relegation, with a 2-18 to 1-16 win over Derry at St Conleths Park in Newbridge.

The hosts led by 2-09 to 1-09 at half-time, with dual player Jonathan Byrne and Martin Fitzgerald netting the Kildare goals.

Paudie Ryan was also in impressive scoring form for the Lilywhites, with an Oisin McCloskey scoring the Oak Leafers goal.

This relegation battle went down to the wire with just two points between the sides with 20 minutes remaining.

Byrne stood up to the plate for Kildare, but was sent off in the last action of the game for reacting to a nasty stroke by Anton Rafferty who was also dismissed.

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