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Leinster eke out Railway Cup hurling final

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Leinster 0-16, Connacht 2-9

By Mark Jones

The ailing Railway Cup received a badly needed shot in the arm when Leinster carved out a thrilling one-point victory in the hurling final at Nowlan Park last Sunday.

With both the football and the hurling competitions coming in for increasing flak in recent seasons for failing to attract attention from fans, this game provided an antidote as the teams fought out what was a highly competitive contest.

The players showed they were taking it seriously as the first of a couple of flare-ups led to Martin Storey of Leinster and Connacht’s Nigel Shaughnessy being booked.

In the end, Leinster’s strong finish proved decisive. They had been rocked by an Alan Kerins goal, which leveled the scores at 2-8 to 0-14, but Storey replied with a point and then Niall Naloney made the game safe with a superb long-range effort from the sideline.

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Charlie Carter was the pick of the winners’ front line with four good points, while D.J. Carey struggled to make an impression against some tight defensive play by Vinnie Maher. David Cuddy also showed up well and at the back, Brian Whelehan once again proved the steadying influence as Leinster took the title for the first time since 1993.

Monaghan 2-11, Fermanagh 0-13

Monaghan claimed the All Ireland B football championship as a second-half punch-up marred what was an otherwise entertaining final at Scotstown.

Raymond Johnson and Kieran Gallagher of Fermanagh and Monaghan’s Damien Freeman were all sent off and the winners were soon able to make their numerical advantage pay.

Monaghan had trailed by a point at the break, but a goal by substitute Declan Smyth put them ahead and despite some stiff resistance from Fermanagh, a second goal by Darren Swift in injury time sealed the result.

Crossmaglen 1-11, Bellaghy 1-10

A late point by Michael Moley gave Crossmaglen a dramatic victory in the Ulster club football final at Clones. Played in front of 7,000 spectators, a young Crossmaglen side kept their nerve in a tense final few minutes and a draw looked the most likely result when Moley stole in behind the defense to fist over the winning score.

Despite having Gary McShane sent off midway through the second half, Crossmaglen defended intelligently after leading by 1-7 to 1-4 at the break.

Cathal Scullion struck an early goal for Bellaghy, but points from John McEntee and Anthony Cunningham as well as a goal by Oisin McConville put Crossmaglen in the driving seat.

Other games

Seir Kieran won their fourth Offaly hurling title when a Johnny Dooley goal spurred them to a 1-11 to 0-8 success over St. Rynagh’s in the replayed final at Birr.

Meanwhile, the Clare football championship went back to Doonbeg, who defeated newcomers Lisscasey in another replay by the comfortable margin of 1-9 to 0-2.

There was only one game in the National Football League and in Division 2A, Wicklow were much too good for Limerick at Aughrim, where it finished 0-16 to 1-4.

In camogie, Ballingarry of Limerick won the All-Ireland club title for the first time when they beat St. Vincent’s of Dublin by 1-19 to 1-8 in the final.

Writers’ choices

All-Ireland success was clearly a factor when Brian Whelehan of Offaly and Galway’s Jarlath Fallon were voted hurler and footballer of the year, respectively, by Ireland’s GAA writers last week.

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