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Mallon lands Down bonus but Derry have off day

By John Campbell

There were mixed fortunes for Down and Derry in Division 2B of the Allianz Hurling League yesterday. While Down boss Martin Mallon was provided with a generous ration of encouragement by his side as they carved out a hard-earned 1-21 to 1-16 win over a resilient Roscommon at Ballycran, Derry succumbed to Meath by 2-19 to 1-16 and had no fewer than three players sent off in the process.

Sharpshooter Danny Toner triggered Down's fine triumph with a barrage of points, while Malachy Magee and the rapidly emerging Declan McManus also figured strongly in the team's scoring stakes.

Gareth 'Magic' Johnston and Eoghan Sands are two other players who imposed their imprint on a game that has served to infuse fresh optimism within the Mourne side.

In contrast, Derry manager Collie McGurk did not have his sorrows to seek against Meath. His team had stayed in contention with their hosts for a lengthy spell but inexplicably the wheels came off with three players dismissed and a number of late scores conceded that ensured Meath took delivery of the two points.

In Division 3A, Brendan Begley (2), Dwyer Marshall, Pauric O'Kelly and Sean Og Grugan grabbed Tyrone's goals in their emphatic 5-16 to 0-12 win over Louth with Damian Casey contributing his usual ration of points.

Former Antrim ace Liam Watson was in red-hot form for Warwickshire in their 2-12 to 1-9 win over Fermanagh in Division3B. Watson scored 2-10 of his team's total in a man of the match display.

In the Littlewoods Camogie League a weakened Down side managed to put up a battling performance against Kilkenny before going under by a scoreline of 2-13 to 0-7.

But there was considerable joy for Cross and Passion College Ballycastle when they defeated Ursuline College, Thurles by 5-12 to 2-5 in the All-Ireland Post Primary Junior 'A' semi-finals after leading by 2-4 to 1-1 at the break.

Anna Connolly (2) and Roisin McCormick scored early goals for the Ballycastle side with Maeve Kelly and Charlene Carey also hitting the net.

There was disappointment for St Pius X College, Magherafelt who lost to Borrisokane Community College in the Junior 'C' final by 5-9 to 0-6.

In the Bank of Ireland MacRory Cup semi-finals, St Paul's Bessbrook and St Mary's Magherafelt will meet at the Queen's complex at the Dub on Wednesday night (7.30pm).

On Thursday evening St Ronan's College Lurgan and St Colman's College Newry will cross swords in the other semi-final at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh (7.30pm).

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