Dublin 2-16 Antrim 0-12

Updated: Sunday, 07 Jun 2009 19:44

David O'Callaghan opens the goal account at Croke Park today
David O'Callaghan opens the goal account at Croke Park today



Antrim's first day out in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship ended on a mute note as, despite amassing 17 wides, Dublin proved too strong and claimed a 10-point win at Croke Park.

Midfielder Alan McCrabbe and corner-forward David O'Callaghan were the stars of the show for Anthony Daly's charges, bagging 2-12 between them.

The Saffrons rued plenty of missed opportunities themselves in the opening 35 minutes, with all of the Antrim forwards hitting wides before the interval.

Antrim dominated possession in the opening quarter and quickly broke in front with Karl Stewart slotting over the first of his five points from a 65-metre free in the fifth minute.

However, this was the only occasion that Antrim would hold the lead in the game.

Despite goal chances for Neil McManus from both open play and a penalty puck in the 11th and 17th minutes respectively, the Saffrons found scores hard to come by.

McManus eventually broke the duck in the 22nd minute with a point from play, but Dublin led by 1-05 to 0-02 at that stage.

The Metropolitans were a lot more clinical in front of the posts with O'Callaghan netting a 14th-minute goal.

The Ballyboden St Enda's clubman grabbed the score of the match as he caught the ball in flight and made a lung-bursting run from 45m out, before sending a piercing shot past Antrim 'keeper Ryan McGarry.

McCrabbe and Sean Delargy traded scores, before Antrim upped it in the scoring stakes.

They hit five unanswered points before the interval to cut the gap to the minimum at 1-06 to 0-08.

Substitute Brendan Herron got the second half off on a positive note for Antrim, as he equalised with a point inside 40 seconds.

However, Dublin blazed a trail with Dominic McKinley and Terence McNaughton's charges left stunned by the Blues' firepower.

O'Callaghan and McCrabbe were simply in a class of their own with David Curtin and Kevin Flynn also on target.

Antrim could only manage a point in the middle of a 30-minute dominant spell in which Dublin bagged 1-10, with McCrabbe's 66th-minute goal sealing victory.

Late points from Karl McKeegan and substitute Joey Scullion were only consolation scores for the Ulster side.

A McCrabbe 1-09 (7f, 0-01 '65'), D O'Callaghan 1-03, D Treacy 0-02, D Curtin (0-01f), K Flynn 0-01 each.
Antrim: K Stewart 0-05 (3f, 1 '65'), K McKeegan, S Delargy, N McManus, M Herron, CJ McGourty, J Scullion, B Herron 0-01 each.

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; S Hiney, M Carton, J Boland, J McCaffrey, A McCrabbe; S Durkin, L Ryan, D Curtin; D O'Callaghan, L Rushe, D Treacy.

Subs used: K Flynn for Rushe (32-34 mins, blood sub), K Flynn for Ryan (half-time), S Lambert for Curtin (46), P Carton for Durkin (55).

Antrim: R McGarry; K McGourty, N McGarry, A Graffin; J Campbell, C Donnelly, N McAuley; P Richmond, K McKeegan; S Delargy, N McManus, M Herron, CJ McGourty, K Stewart, PJ O'Connell.

Subs used: B Herron for PJ O'Connell (32 mins), J Scullion for M Herron (50), P McGill for Delargy (61).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).