Antrim sit top of the Leinster SHC round-robin group table after a six-point win over Westmeath at Ballycastle yesterday. Westmeath finished with 13 men after Aaron Craig and Tommy Gallagher saw red.
Westmeath were 0-4 to no score ahead after six minutes. However Antrim were level in the 20th minute
and took the lead when Paul Shiels pointed and Ciarán Clarke made it 0-8 to 0-6 on 24 minutes.
Westmeath were back in front moments later Derek McNicholas rattled the Antrim net, but four Antrim points without reply had the Saffrons three to the good as half-time approached. However two Ciarán Curley points reduced the gap to one at half-time, with Antrim leading 0-12 to 1-8.
Antrim stretched to a six-point lead, 0-18 to 1-9, after 56 minutes. A 1-1 salvo from McNicholas in the space of a minute had the gap back to minimum; however, Antrim responded well to finish six point winners.
ANTRIM: C O'Connell; O McFadden, C McKinley, Ciarán Johnson; E Campbell (0-2), N McAuley, N McManus (0-1); D Hamill (0-1), B McFall; C Carson, P Shiels (0-12, ten frees), S Beatty; C Clarke (0-3), M Donnelly, PJ O Connell (0-3). Subs: A Graffin for S Beatty, C McCann for M Donnelly, S McCrory for B McFall, S McAfee for C Carson, N McKenna (0-1) for D Hamill.
WESTMEATH: P Collins; K Duncan, T Doyle, L Varley, G Greville, A Craig, T Gallagher; C Curley (0-2), E Price (0-3, two frees); R Greville, A Devine, D Gavin, N Conaty, D McNicholas (2-1), N O'Brien (0-5, four frees). Subs: A Clarke for N Conaty, D Lynch for D Gavin.
Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)