Leo Murphy Cup U20 Development League
Antrim 1-10 Down 0-10
A goal by Erin’s Own player, Ronan Gribbin after 20 minutes proved the difference in the end as Antrim overcame the challenge of Down at a wet Dunsilly this morning. Gribbin finished in style to give his side a lead they were never to lose as Hugh McGettigan’s side went on to control the contest.
14 men Antrim dug deep to overcome the challenge of holders Down in difficult conditions at Dunsilly. The young Saffrons led 1-5 to 0-5 at the half way stage but were reduced to 14 men when Peter King was Black carded and sin binned early in the second half and shortly after his return Pat Shivers received a Red card.
A well organised Antrim defence, who were always ready to counter, stood firm and with Adam Loughran and Dominic McAteer always threatening up front they matched the Mourne men all the way with the margin remaining at three at the full time whistle.
A fine win for Antrim under 20s against the holders of the Leo Murphy cup, Down but despite winning by 3 points the Antrim lads will be disappointed with the margin of victory.
They carved open the Down defence a number of times in the first half when Peter Henvey had a shot brilliantly saved and Cormac McGettigan got on the end of a fabulous move only to see his shot come off the underside of the crossbar and also hitting the post before going wide.
It was left to Ronan Gribbin the Cargin wing half back to score the only goal of the game and this proved the difference throughout this wonderful contest.
Both teams played some great football despite the wintery conditions and the game was still in doubt until the final whistle.
Antrim led 1-5 to 0-5 at the short whistle with Gribbin’s goal proving the difference. Peter Henvey weighed in with two first half points, Rory Brolly 0-2 and Cormac McGettigan were their other first half scorers.
Down were still well in contention at this stage with their scores coming from Patrick Brooks, Tom Close, Matthew Cunningham and Cormac O’Rawe 0-2.
The second half saw more great football from the home side and Antrim managed to control large parts of the game despite playing most of the half with 14 men.
The Saffrons lost Peter King to a black card and just as he was about to return the outstanding Pat Shivers saw Red.
Antrim had a chance to increase their lead when McGettigan was hauled down on the way to goal. Man of the match Adam Loughran saw his shot come of the post and this set the game up for a grandstand finish.
The Antrim lads dug deep in the last quarter and a great score from Adam Loughran from a wonderful pass from Dominic McAteer showed that the home side not only could tackle and work but they could play with style and skill when they had to.
Despite being down to 14 for most of the second half Antrim never really looked in trouble with Adam Loughran, Pat Shivers, Eoin Hynds and Dominic McAteer keeping the score board ticking over and they now look forward to another home game against Louth who recorded a fine win over Tyrone today.
The Down second half scorers were Ryan Connolly, Cormac O’Rawe 0-3 and Patrick Brooks.
Antrim: 1 Gary Murray , 2 Eamon Kelly 3 jamie la mont, 4 Eunan McAteer, 5 John Morgan, 6 Cormac McGettigan, 7 Ronan Gribbin, 8 Peter King, 9 Eoghan McMenamin, 10 Arron McNeilly, 11 Peter Henvey, 12 Adam Loughran, 13 Dominic McAteer, 14 Pat Shivers, 15 Rory Brolly. Subs Daniel Foster for Eamon Kelly 20minutes Eoin Hynes for John Morgan 46 mins Ciarán ONeill for Rory Brolly 55mins Conal McDonald for Dominic McAteer 56 mins Blood sub Dominic McAteer for Eunan McAteer
Down Panel: Tommy Connery, Jamie O’Hagan, Lorcan Toal, Eoin Murdock, Caolan Cunningham, Ronan Murphy, Cormac O’Rawe, Tom Close, Paddy Brooks, Ryan Collolly, Eoghan Byrne, Tim Prenter, Dean Rice, Callum Fitzsimons, Jamie Lynch, Ruairi McCormick, Eoin McCrickard, Matthew Carville, Conor McNulty.