Christy Ring Cup: Antrim 3-20 0-17 Kildare

Antrim's Ciaran Clarke
Ciaran Clarke scoring two of Antrim's goals in the first half

Antrim hurlers earned a 3-20 to 0-17 win over Kildare in their Christy Ring Cup opener at Parnell Park.

Two Ciaran Clarke goals helped the Saffrons take a 2-13 to 0-5 lead by half-time and while Kildare improved, Antrim were never going to be caught.

Terence McNaughton, Dominic McKinley, Neal Peden and Gary O'Kane are now in charge after PJ O'Mullan's departure.

Down were beaten 2-17 to 2-12 by London in their opener at Ballycran while Roscommon defeated Derry 2-20 to 0-15.

Antrim were playing in their first game in the second-tier hurling championship in 10 years after their disastrous 2015 season which saw the county suffering relegation to Division Two of the League and demotion from the Liam McCarthy Cup.

Kevin Ryan's departure as manager led to the appointment of Loughgiel's All-Ireland club winning manager PJ O'Mullan but his tenure lasted less than months as he quit following a dismal league campaign.

Clarke was hugely influential for Antrim in the opening half, registering all bar five points of their tally before the break.

Antrim forged an early 0-6 to 0-1 lead before Clarke's 17th-minute goal emphasised their superiority.

The Ballycastle club-man hammered in a second goal eight minutes later before his side pushed 14 points clear at the break.

The Lilywhites outscored their opponents by six points to two early on the restart but Antrim were never under any threat and John Dillon's 58th-minute goal helped them win by 12 at the finish.

Derry and Down both beaten

Roscommon claimed a hard earned 2-20 to 0-15 win over last year's beaten finalists Derry at Athleague.

The hosts led throughout in an entertaining fixture, with just three points separating his sides at the break on an 0-11 to 0-8 scoreline.

Just three points separated the sides with seven minutes to go, but a brace of goals late on set up Roscommon nicely for a home win.

London recorded a 2-17 to 2-12 away win over Down in Ballycran.

The Exiles led by 1-11 to 1-2 at half-time and despite Down's second-half revival held on for victory.

SATURDAY'S HURLING RESULTS

Christy Ring Cup

Antrim 3-20 0-17 Kildare

Down 2-12 2-17 London

Meath 3-18 2-12 Wicklow

Roscommon 2-20 0-15 Derry

Nicky Rackard

Fermanagh 1-12 5-12 Monaghan

Tyrone 0-17 4-19 Mayo

Fingal 3-21 3-15 Longford

Armagh 2-19 3-13 Donegal

Lory Meagher

Leitrim 1-15 3-19 Warwickshire

Louth 0-22 1-15 Sligo

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