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Christy Ring

The So-Called Weaker County Radar #2

Laois and Westmeath are looking strong in the Joe McDonagh, while the Christy Ring Cup is shaping up to be one of hurling’s most competitive and exciting competitions this year.


If you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Buff Egan’s Snapchat story of the clash between Antrim and Laois, you’d have seen how impressive Laois looked – in particular the goalkeeper Enda Rowland, who has been raved for his multi-save game and earned the #1 slot in’s Team of the Week. The big win in O’Moore Park – 2-24 to 1-19 – puts Laois in the driving seat for possible promotion into the highest tier after last week’s demolition of Offaly.


Speaking of Offaly, they entered Mullingar and Joe Quaid’s quickly improving Westmeath side and fared none the better than their opener against Laois. Westmeath’s 3-18 to 0-14 was hugely impressive, despite their Leinster rivals recent drop-of, and shows a team steadily on the rise. Westmeath will have their sights firmly set on life in the Leinster championship next year.


The Division 3A champions added their second win of the Christy Ring campaign, beating London 1-25 to 2-12. They’ve now qualified for the knockout stage, where the ultimate winner will progress up to the Joe McDonagh next year.


Sticking with the Christy Ring, and Down came out very impressive 2-25 to 2-19 winners over Wicklow in Group 1 in what sounded like an absolute cracker. Wicklow had beaten Donegal in the first round, so advantage stands with Down in a qualification decider against Donegal next weekend.


Finally in the Christy Ring Cup, the Royals look the side to beat after demolishing Kildare 2-27 to 1-13, backing up their first round defeat of London by 16 points.


Over to the Nicky Rackard, where Sligo are absolutely flying it. The Yeats men went unbeaten in 3B, earning promotion next spring, and have posted two fine wins in the Rackard – beating Tyrone 3-19 to 1-14 having hopped over Louth the week before by eight points.


Mayo, meanwhile, rescued some hope of knockout action with a huge win over Louth, beating the Wee County 3-23 to 1-13. Mayo are a 2A team, just about, so this wouldn’t have been a huge surprise beating 3B’s Louth, but Mayo needed a result to stay alive in the competition having lost to Tyrone in the first round and duly delivered.

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