Christy Ring Cup: Derry win but Down beaten in opener

Ruairi Convery was among the Derry scorers against Mayo
Ruairi Convery was among the Derry scorers against Mayo

Derry defeated Mayo in their Christy Ring Cup opener on Saturday but Down suffered defeat against Kerry.

The Oak Leafers finished strongly to secure a 0-13 to 0-11 win over Mayo in Owenbeg.

In testing conditions, the hosts earned victory thanks to late scores from Johnny O'Dwyer and Déaghlán Foley.

Down trailed Kerry by just a point at the break in Tralee but lost out 2-17 to 2-10, with Danny Toner and Myles Nicholson netting for the Ulster side.

The visitors began brightly with Toner's goal on seven minutes and they moved into a five-point lead.

Kerry fought back with a Padraig Boyle goal levelling the contest, before a pointed free from Shane Nolan pushed Eamonn Kelly's side ahead for the first time, after 15 minutes.

The hosts moved two points ahead, but the gap stood at the minimum 12 minutes later, after Toner brought his tally to 1-2 with a well struck point.

Just a point separated the teams at this stage, but Kerry drove on, firing an unanswered 1-2, including a Colm Harty goal.

Down had the final say of the half, with a Donal Hughes point ensuring a 2-7 to 1-5 scoreline at the break.

Kerry were the sharper side in the second half and claimed a deserved victory.

Thanks to the efforts of Nolan and Michael O'Leary, Kerry pushed eight points ahead with 13 minutes remaining, and although Nicholson netted Down's second goal, it came too late.

Mayo started in impressive fashion against Derry and led 0-6 to 0-3 after 25 minutes with Ruairi Convery, Alan Grant and Paddy Henry keeping the hosts in touch.

Mayo extended their lead to 0-10 to 0-4 at the interval, but Derry launched a strong comeback, holding the visitors to just one point on the restart.

O'Dwyer was outstanding in the second half, scoring three points in a game where Derry took the lead for the first time after 54 minutes, following a Convery point and they stayed ahead until the finish.

Elsewhere, reigning Christy Ring Cup champions Kildare and London will have to meet again after a 2-23 apiece draw in Ruislip.

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