Antrim bounce back with dominant win over Louth
Ulster side reach second round of the qualifiers for the first time since 2015
Patrick Gallagher celebrates Antrim’s win over Louth. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Louth 1-11 Antrim 2-16
Antrim dusted themselves down from their disappointing Ulster Championship exit to end Louth’s season by eight points in Drogheda on Saturday night.
Matthew Fitzpatrick found the net twice in the opening half on the 20th and 25th minute to end Louth’s early dominance.
Louth led 1-5 to 0-2 after Andy McDonnell punished a poor kick out from Pádraig Nugent to palm to net after good work from Sam Mulroy.
Indiscipline rose it’s head for Louth again as they ended the game with net minder Fergal Sheekey and Declan Byrne picking up straight red cards in quick succession of each other at the matche’s finale.
The encounter was on a knife edge at the break 2-5 to 1-7 in favour of the Ulster side. Louth could only muser four green flags after the break.
Substitute Ruairí Scott impressed with two points upon coming on in the second half while Patrick McBride also landed a brace but it was his control of possession that was key to victory.
The lead for the Lenny Harbinson’s side built in the first half was well managed and a further two points from midfielder Colum Duffin eased them over the line and into Round 2 of the Qualifiers for the first time since 2015.
Louth: Fergal Sheekey; Dan Corcoran, Fergal Donohoe, James Craven; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy (0-1), John Clutterbuck (0-1); Tommy Durnin (0-1), James Califf; Andy McDonnell(1-1 ), Declan Byrne (0-2), Conall McKeever (0-01); Ciaran Downey, Sam Mulroy, Ryan Burns (0-2, two frees). Subs: Eoghan Duffy for McDonnell (h-t) Conor Early for Califf (48), Ronan Holcroft for Downey (49), Emmet Carolan (0-1) for Craven (56), Conor Grimes for Mulroy (58) Craig Lynch for J Clutterbuck (58)
Antrim: Padraig Nugent; Patrick McCormick (0-1), Ricky Johnston, Patrick Gallagher; Paddy McBride (0-3, one free), Declan Lynch, Niall Delargy (0-1); Colum Duffin (0-2), Stephen Beatty; James McAuley, Matthew Fitzpatrick (2-1), Kevin Quinn; Ryan Murray (0-6, one free), Michael McCarry, Eunan Walsh. Subs: Ryan McNulty for James McAuley (5), Conor Murray for McCarry (h-t), Ruairí Scott (0-2) for Beatty (49), Fintan Burke for K Quinn (64), James Smith for C Duffin (68), Patrick Branagan for N Delargy (72).
Referee:Martin McNally (Monaghan).