/ GAA

Antrim 3-09 Offaly 2-07

Updated: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2008 11:11

Sean Delargy raises the Walsh Cup Offaly's Derek Molloy challenges Antrim's Sean Delargy
Sean Delargy raises the Walsh Cup Offaly's Derek Molloy challenges Antrim's Sean Delargy

Antrim's senior hurlers created history at Casement Park this afternoon as they lifted the Walsh Cup title for the first time.

After wins over Kilkenny and UCD, the Saffrons saw off Offaly in the decider with Eddie McCloskey (2) and Cormac Donnelly both registering goals.

Offaly led 2-06 to 1-04 at the break thanks to goals from Francis Kerrigan and Shane Dooley.

But wind-backed Antrim dominated the second half and kept the visitors to a single point from Damien Murray.

Donnelly's goal, combined with Liam Watson's seventh point of the day, sealed the issue.

In wintry weather conditions, Antrim strode into an early 1-02 to 0-01 lead despite facing into a very strong wind. McCloskey smacked home his first goal after taking a hand pass from Donnelly.

But, after a less-than-impressive start, Offaly settled and grabbed goals through former Galway minor Kerrigan, whose deflected shot beat Ryan McGarry between the Antrim posts, and Dooley.

Offaly remained in the lead until twelve minutes from time when McCloskey raised his second green flag.

The right corner-forward collected a huge puck-out from McGarry before turning and drilling a superb shot to the Offaly net.

Donnelly flicked home goal number three for the hosts whose joint-manager 'Sambo' McNaughton was simply delighted with the final triumph.

‘This means a lot to us and gives us confidence going into the National League,’ admitted McNaughton afterwards.

‘We can build on this and see where we go from here. We believe in the players we have and they are giving us a great response.’

Powered by NewsWhip