Antrim take Ulster minor hurling crown in style with comfortable win

Early red card does little to aid Down’s challenge

ANTRIM 2-20 DOWN 1-12: Antrim romped to the Ulster minor hurling title on Sunday, despite losing midfielder Ryan McCambridge to a straight red card in the second minute.

Conor Johnson top-scored with 0-9 in the Athletic Grounds, six from frees, while Jude McCurdy grabbed 2-2. All the goal action came within three minutes in the first-half.

McCurdy tapped a loose ball home from close range after 22 minutes. Conor Fitzsimmons’ superb finish gave Down hope two minutes later, but seconds later McCurdy pounced again for his second goal.

Antrim led by 2-11 to 1-6 at half-time. Down lost Conor Costello to a second yellow card after 40 minutes but the Saffrons were already cruising to victory.

C Heyden; R Diamond, K O'Kane, A Orchin; D O'Hara, P Burke, M Connolly; R McCambridge, A Delargy (0-3); C McAlister (0-2), D Nugent, E McFerran; C Johnson (0-9, 0-6 frees), J McCurdy (2-2), S McCaughan (0-4). Subs: G Walsh for Diamond (46 mins), J Duffin for O'Hara (59 mins), C McDonnell for McCurdy (60 mins), C McNaughton for McCaughan (60 mins), R McNulty for Burke (60 mins).
DOWN: S Savage; B Byers, C Taggart, J Doran; R Campbell (0-2), PJ McComiskey, PJ Davidson (0-1); C Egan (0-1), J Murphy; R Courtney, C Costello, L Savage; C Fitzsimmons (1-1), E Sands, P Og McCrickard (0-6, 0-3 frees). Subs: C Fay for McComiskey (half-time), R McCusker (0-1) for Courtney (half-time), D Gilliland for Savage (55 mins), M Patterson for Doran (55 mins), M Fisher for Campbell (59 mins).
Referee: James Clarke (Cavan).