Joe McDonagh Cup: Antrim beaten 2-19 to 1-20 by Westmeath but still alive

Neil McManus has been Antrim's top forward for almost a decade
Neil McManus finished with 0-13 as Antrim led after being eight down at half-time before Westmeath regrouped to win

Antrim suffered another defeat in the Joe McDonagh Cup as Westmeath won 2-19 to 1-20 at Mullingar but the Saffrons' hopes of a final place remain alive.

Westmeath's win secured their place in the final on 1 July.

Antrim need Westmeath to beat Carlow next week and hope they can defeat Kerry at home to snatch a finals spot.

Westmeath led 2-12 to 0-10 at half-time but Keelan Molloy's goal and Neil McManus' 0-13 put Antrim ahead after 67 minutes before the home side hit back.

The home side hit the final three points to maintain their 100% record and secure their final berth with a match to spare.

Saffrons need Westmeath favour

Carlow's 2-25 to 2-15 win over Laois at O'Moore Park moved them into second place - two points behind Westmeath - and a draw against the table-toppers next week will ensure they face Westmeath again in the final of the new second-tier competition.

If Westmeath do defeat Carlow, an Antrim victory over Kerry will secure the Saffrons' final berth as they defeated Carlow in round two of the competition and also will have a superior scoring difference.

Antrim won their two opening games against Meath and Carlow but then suffered their first defeat against Laois.

The two finalists will secure a place in the preliminary round of the Liam McCarthy Cup where they will face the third placed teams from the Leinster and Munster Championships with All-Ireland quarter-final spots up for grabs in those games.

Five early McManus points helped Antrim move 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 12 minutes but Eoin Price then set up Ciaran Doyle for a levelling goal.

Westmeath moved 1-10 to 0-9 ahead before Niall O'Brien's 33rd-minute goal helped extend their advantage to 2-12 to 0-10 by half-time.

However, Antrim hit an unanswered 1-5 after the restart - including substitute Molloy's goal - to get on terms - and they were ahead on 53 minutes after another McManus free.

Allan Devine finally opened Westmeath's second-half tally on 55 minutes as they went regrouped to outscore Antrim 0-8 to 0-4 in the final 19 minutes of action.

Westmeath's Brendan Doyle was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the 66th minute but while McManus' 13th point left Antrim ahead a minute later, points from Liam Varley, Aonghus Clarke and Devine secured the home team's fourth straight win in the second-tier competition.

Cormac O'Doherty in action for Slaughtneil hurlers earlier this year
Cormac O'Doherty hit Derry's late goal in Maghera

Derry snatch Ring semi-finals spot

Derry advanced to a Christy Ring Cup semi-final against Kildare as Cormac O'Doherty's late goal helped them beat Down 1-29 to 2-19 in Maghera - which saw the Oak Leafers pipping the Mournemen for the last-four berth by a single point on scoring difference.

Derry led by 0-16 to 1-11 at half-time, despite leaking an early goal, after Daithi Sands hit the net for Down.

Sands again found the net in the second half but O'Doherty's 69th-minute strike from a 65 metre free helped Derry start a late scoring burst which saw them snatch the semi-final place from the Mourne men as they added four further points - including an Alan Grant effort.

It was an impressive effort by the Oak Leafers whose semi-final hopes looked remote following their opening defeat by London.

Previously unbeaten Down went into the contest only needing a narrow defeat to book a semi-finals spot but it was not to be.

Meanwhile, Armagh suffered relegated from the Christy Ring Cup after a 4-27 to 0-11 hammering by London at the Athletic Grounds.

Saturday 2 June

Leinster SHC round four

Wexford 0-17 Galway 1-23

Munster SHC round three

Cork 1-25 Limerick 0-28

Joe McDonagh Cup round four

Meath 0-16 Kerry 0-18

Laois 2-15 Carlow 2-25

Westmeath 2-19 Antrim 1-20

Christy Ring Cup round three

Derry 1-29 Down 2-19

Armagh 0-11 London 4-26

Wicklow 3-18 Kildare 4-19

Roscommon 1-17 Mayo 0-11

Nicky Rackard Cup round three

Louth 0-18 Monaghan 0-18

Longford 0-13 Warwickshire 1-13

Leitrim 2-14 Tyrone 2-25