Christy Ring: Kerry and Kildare advance to final while Down record win in relegation play-off

Updated: Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:34 | Comments

Padraig Boyle was a goalscorer for the Kingdom
Padraig Boyle was a goalscorer for the Kingdom

Kerry and Kildare will meet in next Saturday's Christy Ring Final in Croke Park, with Kerry claiming a 3-20 to 1-18 win over Mayo, and Kildare were 1-18 to 0-13 victors over Meath, while Down recorded a 5-24 to 2-15 victory against Armagh in the relegation play-off.

A first half hat-trick saw Kerry lay the platform for a 3-20 to 1-18 win over Mayo at Elvery's MacHale Park.

Shane Nolan, Padraig Boyle and David Butler all breached the Mayo goalmouth in the opening 35 minutes, on the way to an eight-point win.

The visitors burst out of the traps early on, and powered to a 1-06 to 0-00 lead after 20 minutes, with Nolan setting the tone with a first-minute goal.

Ciaran Charleton eventually broke the scoreless spell for Mayo in the 20th minute, but Boyle bagged Kerry's second goal, and with Butler also on target Kerry moved 3-14 to 0-05 ahead at half-time.

Teenager Sean Regan dragged Mayo back into the game, with his goal helping to boost the Westerners on the restart.

But Eamon Kelly's charges finished strongly, to once again reach the decider.

Kildare impressed throughout, as they recorded a 1-18 to 0-14 away win over Meath.

It was just rewards for the Lilywhites, who suffered defeat to the Royals in the Bord na Mona Kehoe Cup decider in February.
Kildare led by 1-09 to 0-07 at half-time, with Tony Murphy netting a first-minute goal.

Stephen Clynch kept Meath in touch, and they had a strong chance to cut the gap on the restart, but the Royals captain had his penalty strike blocked by Kildare goalkeeper Paul Dermody.

A succession of wides from both sides dominated the third quarter, with Meath reduced to 14-men in the 63rd minute following the dismissal of full-back Neil McLoughlin on a second yellow card.

Kildare stood firm, and held out to book a final place, following a seven-point win.

Meanwhile, Down kept their hopes of staying in the Christy Ring Cup alive after a comfortable 5-24 to 2-15 win over Armagh.

At Pairc Esler, Newry Gerard Monan's side started strongly, with first half goals from Johnny McCusker, James Coyle and Michael Turley helping the hosts to a 4-11 to 0-11 interval lead, with McCusker registering two goals in the opening 35 minutes.

Armagh battled back on the restart, but Down continued to prove strong, with their fifth goal coming soon on after the restart, on the way to a 18-point win.

Last year’s winners Down retain their Christy Ring status at the expense of Armagh.

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