Christy Ring Cup Roundup
Reigning Christy Ring Cup champions Down are out of the competition, after a second successive defeat, with one-point wins for Derry, Meath and Kildare this afternoon.
A last gasp Kevin Hinphey point helped Derry to a 2-16 to 3-12 victory over their Ulster rivals at Owenbeg.
Meath claimed victory by the minimum margin at Elverys McHale Park after a 70th minute pointed Stephen Clynch free helped the Royals to a 0-16 to 0-15 win against Mayo.
Kildare also claimed an away one-point win after their 1-20 to 3-13 Round 1 replay victory over Wicklow in Arklow.
Hinphey was Derry's hero as the Oak Leafers claimed a one-point win over Down, who exited the competition after a second defeat in as many weeks.
Derry looked comfortable for most of the second half, but it was Down who started brightly with a Johnny McCusker goal helping Gerard Monan's charges to a 1-01 to 0-02 lead after 13 minutes.
But Derry worked hard over the next 10 minutes, with a brace of Ruairi Convery pointed frees cutting the gap to two points, before a well-worked Oisin McCloskey goal.
McCloskey's three-pointer in the 23rd minute, handed Derry a lead they would not relinquish until the second half.
Derry pushed further in front thanks to the efforts of Shane Farren and Convery, and held a 1-09 to 1-04 half-time lead.
Down rallied with three unanswered points on the restart, but the hosts pushed 2-12 to 1-08 ahead, after Shane Farren netted their second goal entering the closing quarter.
Danny Toner responded with Down's second goal, but Derry moved six points clear with 10 minutes left following scores from Brendan Rogers and Convery.
A James Coyle goal set up a grandstand finish, and although captain Conor Woods equalised, Hinphey had time to secure a late winner.
Meanwhile, Stephen Clynch's eighth point, and his seventh from a placed ball, ensured Meath claimed a one-point win over Mayo at Elvery's McHale Park.
Clynch's score came in injury-time, in a game which saw Mayo leading by 0-10 to 0-09 at half-time, with Kenny Feeney (0-10) leading the host’s charge.
With dual player Keith Higgins featuring for Mayo, the home side led by 0-06 to 0-04 at the end of the opening quarter courtesy of scores from Feeney and Sean Regan, but Meath worked hard.
Clynch, Sean Heavey, Willie McGrath and Shane Whitty kept the Royals in touch as just a point separated the sides at the break.
Meath pushed 0-15 to 0-11 ahead as the final quarter approached, with former Royals footballer Caoimhin King ensuring a four-point lead with his second point.
Mayo's nine first-half wides would come back to haunt them, while they added a further five in the middle third of the second half.
Feeney levelled the tie at 0-15 apiece with his tenth point in the 66th minute, but could not eek out a winning score, as Meath held out for victory.
In windy conditions in Arklow, Kildare ground out a hard-earned one-point win over Wicklow, as the sides met for the second time in a week.
Mark Delaney claimed the winning score for the visitors in a game where Wicklow stayed out in front throughout, until the Coill Dubh clubman's late point.
Despite amassing 17 first-half wides, Wicklow led by 2-08 to 1-07 at half-time, with Andy O'Brien and Mikey Lee registering their goals.
Gerry Keegan netted Kildare's lone three-pointer two minutes before the break, and they worked hard on the restart.
The Lilywhites outscored their opponents by 0-04 to 0-01 during a 10-minute spell to cut the gap to a point.
Wicklow kept on top for the remainder of the third quarter, but with Paul Divilly (0-08) and Keegan (1-04) impressive, Wicklow had to work hard.
The host’s third goal handed Wicklow a 3-11 to 1-13 advantage, but Kildare registered four of the next five points.
Wicklow could only manage one point in the closing nine minutes from Lee, as Kildare looked hungrier for victory, with Delaney claiming the winning score two minutes into injury-time.
Kildare now face Kerry next weekend.