Louth, Tyrone and Kildare secure big wins in Croke Park hurling finals

Gerry Keegan hits 10 points from play as Lilywhites win Christy Ring Cup

Lory Meagher Cup: Louth 3-27 Longford 3-14

Nickey Rackard Cup: Tyrone 1-27 Roscommon 0-19

Christy Ring Cup: Kildare 2-29 Mayo 0-19

One-sided supremacy was the theme of the day at the triple header in Croke Park as all three victorious sides– Louth, Tyrone and Kildare – ran out double-digit winners.

Kildare are Christy Ring cup winners once again, Brian Byrne lifted the same piece of silverware he rose behind closed doors in 2020, but importantly for them, the Lilywhites showed they don’t belong at that level.

Having beaten Mayo by 40 points in round one, the match that brought things to a close in GAA HQ was a forgone conclusion by half-time. Gerry Keegan landed 10 points from play in arguably the best individual performance of the afternoon spanning across all six counties involved.

Captain Byrne and Cathal Dowling fired home first-half goals that teed them up for a comfortable second-half jaunt. James Burke, too, was hugely impressive with eight first-half points on the wing for Kildare.

Despite Shane Boland's best efforts for last year's Nickey Rackard winners Mayo, David Herity would be forgiven if he was already thinking about next year's Joe McDonagh Cup campaign long before the finish.

Tyrone suffered at the hands of the Connacht side last season and made amends with an 11-point Rackard Cup triumph over Roscommon in ruthless fashion.

Damien Casey’s mastery from placed balls was spellbinding at times as the Red Hand men burst out of the blocks to release the pain of last year’s defeat.

While Casey totted up the frees, it must be said he was well aided from open play by CJ McGourty and Seán Óg Grogan, the former flicking home the final’s only goal at the end of the first half.

Louth set the tone of the day, by storming to their third Lory Meagher title in six seasons with a facile 13-point success over Longford.

Paul Mathews was earmarked to thrive in the wide open spaces of Croke Park and the Louth full forward lived up to the hunch with a match-winning tally of 2-1. While creating the opening goal for his St Fechins club-mate Seaghan Conneely.

Great survivor Joe O'Brien did open the scoring for Longford and Reuben Murray and full back Enda Naughton did find the net in the second half but they were deemed anomalies such was Louth's dominance.

Darren Geoghegan, captain Feidhelm Joyce along with Liam Molloy mounted large tallies but it was the opening goal in response to the sluggish start that propelled Louth to sheer opulence in the finish.

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