Antrim show their quality


ULSTER UNDER-21 HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL Antrim 2-20 Derry 1-12:ANTRIM WON a 28th Ulster U21 hurling title with a comfortable victory over Derry last night. After a miserable year for the Saffron seniors, at least they can be comforted by the knowledge that fresh talent is on its way.

It took the Saffrons around 20 minutes to break Derry’s resistance in the Morgan Athletic Grounds and they did the game-winning damage in a 10 minute spell either side of half-time.

Antrim signalled their intent early with a goal from Stephen Smith after seven minutes. They scored an unanswered 1-3 in five minutes, but Derry fought back to draw level in the 16th minute. Their most potent forward, Shane Farren, scored a goal during their little spell of dominance when they rattled off an unanswered 1-2.

However Antrim captain Conor McCann grabbed the all-important second goal in the 19th minute to reassert Antrim’s dominance in this game.

They led by 2-10 to 1-8 at the break and already, it looked like there was no way back for Derry. Any hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished with five Antrim points from play in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

ANTRIM: J O’Mullan; C Murray, R Gillan, F Donnelly; J McShane, M Donnelly, J McCouaig; A McKeown (0-1), S McAfee (0-3); M Devlin (0-4), K McKiernan (0-2), J Black (0-3, 0-1 free); S Smith (1-2), C McCann (1-4, 0-1 free), C Laverty (0-1). Subs: C Morgan for Donnelly (39 mins), D McKinley for Devlin (47 mins), P McNaughton for Black (55 mins), S Devine for Murray (56 mins), N McFadden for McCann (59 mins).

DERRY: O O’Doherty; M Warnock, C McGurk, C McIntyre; C Convery, K McKaigue, E Cassidy; C Gilmore (0-1), D O’Neill; N Ferris (0-2), A Grant (0-3), A Armstrong; T McCloskey (0-2), S Farren (1-4, 0-3 frees), D Shields. Subs: MJ Groogan for Warnock (half-time), R Farren for Cassidy (40 mins), M Taggart for Groogan (46 mins), C Lynch for McIntyre (46 mins), C O’Loane for Shields (49 mins).

Referee: Declan Magee(Down).

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