Antrim 7-17 Down 1-05

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:47 | Comments

Niall McKenna was among the goals for Antrim
Niall McKenna was among the goals for Antrim

Antrim coasted to the Ulster U-21 hurling title with a 7-17 to 1-05 demolition of Down in the Athletic Grounds.

Five of Antrim's goals came from substitutes, with Connor Burke and Saul McCaughan each netting twice in the second half.

Down failed to score for 37 minutes as the victors ripped them apart in a disappointing contest, which was poor preparation for the Saffrons' forthcoming All-Ireland semi-final against either Cork or Clare. 

It did, however, take Antrim a long time to get going and with 24 minutes played, they had hit more wides (six) than points (four).

They fired over a total of nine wides in the opening 30 minutes and after conceding the opening two scores of the game, they found their range with an unanswered 1-07 to lead by eight points at the interval.

Peter Mason's sideline puck and a point from Eoghan Sands put Down in front after three minutes, but they failed to score again in the first half as the Glensmen dominated in every area of the field.

Ciaran Clarke hit 0-03 in the opening period and, despite being under pressure from several Down defenders, he hit the best score of the game from the far sideline.

Antrim substitute Sean McAfee scored a goal in the 27th minute with his first touch, kicking the ball into an empty net after good work by Clarke out on the left wing.

Jackson McGreevy and Niall McKenna added points to give Antrim a 1-07 to 0-02 lead at the break.

Two goals just after the restart killed the game off, with Niall McKenna and Saul McCaughan scoring within 30 seconds of each other.

James McGrath ended Down's long wait for a score in the 38th minute but it was only brief respite for the Mourne defence, with Burke grabbing a brace of goals in the last quarter.

McCaughan also netted his second of the game while Down sub Conal Fitzsimmons scored a consolation goal for Down in the 49th minute.

Ciaran Clarke, who scored more than the entire Down team with a personal haul of 1-6, added his goal in the 50th minute. 

ANTRIM: C Butler; T O Ciarain, P Burke, F Donnelly; J McGreevy (0-01), E Campbell, M Bradley; D McGuinness, M Dudley (0-01); D McCloskey (0-01), R McCambridge (0-01), N McKenna (1-02); C Clarke (1-06, 2f), D McKernan (0-02), S McAfee (0-01)

Subs: Sean McAfee (1-00) for McGuinness (23), S McCaughan (2-01) for Donnelly (HT), C Burke (2-00) for McCloskey (44) E McCaughan (0-01) for S McAfee (48), M Connolly for Bradley (52)

DOWN: S Savage; M Conlan, M McCullough, G O'Neill; C Taggart, C O'Neill, J McGrath (0-01); J McManus, R Brannigan; P Mason (0-01), B Nicholson, C Egan; L Savage, S Mageean, E Sands (0-02)

Subs: B Byers for G O'Neill (37), C Fitzsimmons (1-01) for Savage (41), A Scott for McManus (55), J Doran for McCullough (55), D Mallon for Mageean (55)

Referee: Alan Nash (Derry)


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