Two second half goals from Ruairi McCann were to prove decisive as Antrim got their Division Four campaign off to a winning start against Wexford at a sunny Glenavy on Sunday afternoon.

The Aghagallon man struck twice in 11 minutes to give the hosts breathing space, but Paul Galvin's Wexford were to remain in contention although they couldn't find the major their challenge required to get to within a score in the final quarter.

It took Paddy Cunningham - making his first appearance in county colours since 2013 - just 20 seconds to announce his return with a trademark point off his left and the hosts led by three before Wexford got off the mark with a point from Ben Brosnan eight minutes in.

A pair of Cunningham frees moved the hosts four clear 15 minutes in, but Wexford began to grow into the game with their high press starting to force turnovers as they put the squeeze on Antrim, and on 28 minutes they were level at 0-6 apiece.

Jonathan Bealin kicked a pair of frees, while Glen Malone and Niall Hughes added from play before Brosnan converted a long free to level with Antrim's sole score in this period coming from the boot of Cunningham.

However, the Saffrons surged back into the lead on 30 minutes as Eunan Walsh availed of the advantage to cut through and rifle to the net.

Eunan Walsh scored one of Antrim's goals

Bealin kicked over from a free after claiming a mark and while Cunningham was to cancel this out, Tom Byrne brilliantly curled over off his left to leave Wexford just 1-7 to 0-8 ahead after an entertaining opening period.

Antrim enjoyed a dream start to the second period as, three minutes in, a sweeping move resulted in Marc Jordan feeding Ruairi McCann who palmed low into the net.

Wexford hit back with points from Ben Brosnan and Glen Malone, but Galvin's men were to be rocked further when, after Colm Duffin pointed for the hosts, Antrim found the net for a third time on 47 minutes.

A long ball caught out Brian Malone who seemed to lose its flight under the sun and McCann pounced on the mistake, firing to the net despite the best efforts of Patrick Doyle to make it 3-8 to 0-10.

Antrim were unable to add to their lead over the next 18 minutes as they kicked a number of wides and this offered Wexford some encouragement as they began to eat into the lead with Bealin and substitute Sean Nolan pointing, while Brosnan's rasping shot wat tipped over by Oisin Kerr to leave just four in it with eight to play.

They were unable to make further inroads as Antrim steadied and Duffin fisted over to steady Antrim nerves, while Paddy McBride kicked over a late free to seal the points.

Both sides were to finish with 14 as Wexford's Glen Malone picked up a second yellow and Ruairi McCann was sin-binned deep in stoppage time, but the outcome had been settled as Antrim got off to a winning start, leaving Paul Galvin searching for his first league win as Wexford boss.

Antrim: O Kerr; P Gallagher, R Johnston, M Gardiner; D Lynch, J McAuley, P Healy; C Duffin (0-2) (D McAleese 68), M Jordan (E Nagle 60); E Walsh (1-0), P McBride (0-1 free), N Delargy (A Loughran 69); P Cunningham (0-6, 4 frees) (C Small 54), R McCann (2-1), C Murray.

Wexford: P Doyle; M O'Connor, G Sheehan, J Rossiter; R Devereux, B Malone, C Carty; E Nolan (L Coleman 70+6), N Hughes (0-1); R Heffernan (J Dunne 49), J Stafford (S Nolan (0-1) 53), T Byrne (0-1) (C Devitt 69); G Malone (0-2), J Bealin (0-4, 3 frees, 1 mark) (M Rossiter 67), B Brosnan (0-4, 1 free)

Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin)