Division 2A final: Antrim hurlers earn promotion

Antrim captain Simon McCrory lifts the Division 2A hurling league trophy
Antrim captain Simon McCrory lifts the Division 2A hurling league trophy

Antrim will play Division 1B League Hurling next season, after beating Carlow 2-12 to 0-15 in the Division 2A final at Pairc Esler on Saturday.

The saffrons never trailed in Newry with a ninth minute Eoghan Campbell goal and a Neil McManus penalty putting them 2-3 to 0-3 ahead after 19 minutes.

Carlow battled hard but two Deaglan Murphy points helped Antrim to a four-point lead, 2-5 to 0-7, at the break.

Donegal beat Tyrone 4-25 to 1-11 to win the Division 3A title at Celtic Park.

Antrim had been in Division 2A for the last two seasons and Saturday's result is a massive boost to hurling in the county.

Antrim hurlers celebrate a return to Division 1B after a two-year absence
Antrim hurlers celebrate a return to Division 1B after a two-year absence

The management team, headed up by Sambo McNaughton and Dominic McKinley, saw their players make a strong start to the second half with early scores from Paddy Burke and Murphy opening up a six-point gap.

Conor Johnston, McManus and Ciaran Clarke also added to Antrim's second half tally.

Although Carlow cut the gap to two points with four minutes remaining, Antrim held out for a deserved win with Neil McManus nailing three frees.

Donegal led throughout against Tyrone in the Division 3A decider.

Tipperary native Davin Flynn fired 2-8 from play, including two first half goals, which helped Donegal to a 2-8 to 0-0 lead after 19 minutes.

Damien Casey claimed Tyrone's first score in the 20th minute, with Stephen Gillespie netting in injury-time, on the way to a 3-11 to 0-4 interval lead.

Ronan McDermott netted Donegal's fourth goal inside four minutes of the restart.

Referee Rory McGann issued one red card, and seven yellow cards to Tyrone players during this game, with Mike O'Gorman dismissed 20 minutes from the end.

Casey netted for Tyrone in the 61st minute, but Donegal finished with six of the final seven points.

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