Watson stars in Loughgiel success

LIAM Watson’s stunning haul of 3-7 helped Loughgiel Shamrocks to their second ever AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Club title at Croke Park, where they beat Coolderry of Offaly by 4-13 to 0-17.

The game, in truth, was over by half-time. Rarely has Croke Park witnessed a performance as electrifying as that of Watson, the Ulster champions’ top scorer and star man.

By the break he had snaffled 3-3 and added four more points to his haul after the break to complete a tour de force performance.

In the club football final, Crossmaglen produced a superb second-half comeback to draw 0-15 to 1-12 with Garrycastle.

Garrycastle led by five points with 20 minutes to go but the Armagh champions, led by fine performances from Oisín McConville and Jamie Clarke, characteristically battled back to secure a replay.

In the weekend’s National League games, Tyrone secured a return to Division One with a 1-14 to 0-13 win over Galway.

The Red Hands have now won five games in a row and booked promotion with two games of the league campaign remaining.

In Division One, Down moved up to second with a fine 0-15 to 1-10 win over All-Ireland Champions Dublin.

Three weeks ago, Down had lost two games in a row and were being tipped for the drop but everything has changed in the last fortnight with impressive victories over Mayo and now Dublin.

In contrast, Armagh are now facing the real possibility of relegation after losing 1-15 to 1-10 against Laois.

Results Div 1: Down 0-15 Dublin 1-10; Laois 1-15 Armagh 1-10; Donegal 0-17 Mayo 1-07; Cork 0-11 Kerry 0-13.

Div 2: Westmeath 1-19 Monaghan 2-11; Meath 0-10 Derry 0-13; Louth 0-17 Kildare 2-15 Galway 0-13 Tyrone 1-14

Div 3: Wexford 1-12 Roscommon 1-10; Cavan 0-11 Offaly 1-10; Longford 0-15 Antrim 1-08; Sligo 1-16 Tipperary 0-07.

Div 4: Wicklow 2-13 Limerick 0-14; Kilkenny 1-06 Carlow 3-11; Waterford 0-12 Fermanagh 0-15; Clare 1-12 Leitrim 0-09.