DOWN MEMORY LANE
After losing to Tyrone in the Ulster final in Clones in 2009 Antrim had the chance for revenge the following season when they drew the Red Hand county at Casement in the opening round of the 2010 Championship. 18,000 fans turned up at Casement on a scorching Sunday in May to see the action, but though Antrim gave a good account of themselves Tyrone got home by four points in the end and went on to retain their Ulster title later that Summer.
Ulster Senior Football Championship 2010
Antrim 1-13 Tyrone 2-14
A great battling second-half display by Antrim, which saw them cut an eight point deficit to just three at one stage, wasn’t enough to prevent Ulster champions Tyrone sealing victory in Sunday’s Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final at sun baked Casement Park.
Before a crowd of over 18,000 Antrim were punished for conceding possession as Kevin Hughes and Owen Mulligan fired in goals, though Antrim were aggrieved by the second score as Mulligan cleary fouled Antrim captain Colin Brady in the build up to his brilliantly taken goal.
Leading by 2-6 to 0-5 at half-time Tyrone hit the first three points of the second-half and for a time it looked like it turn into an embarrassing defeat for the home side.
However the Saffrons showed great character and boosted by a couple of substitutions Liam Bradley’s boys fought back and a couple of well taken points by Paddy Cunningham and an excellent goal by Kevin Niblock they closed the gap to four points by the fifty-fifth minute.
CJ McGourty pointed from play to leave just a goal between the sides but Tyrone were always able to find a reply when their dominance was threatened and the held on to book a semi-final spot against the winners of next week’s quarter final between Down and Donegal.
Disappointment in the end for Antrim but they can take heart from a great second-half display and with a favourable draw in the qualifiers there is no reason why the ‘Baker Boys’ can’t still put their mark on this summer’s championship.
Antrim: J Finucane, C Brady, A Douglas, K O’Boyle, T Scullion, J Crozier, S Kelly, A Gallagher, B Herron, T O’Neill, K Niblock, J Loughrey, P Cunningham, M McCann, T McCann. Subs: S McGreevy, A McClean, A Healy, D McCann, S Finch, D Gault, K Brady, C Fleming, CJ McGourty, G O’Boyle, P Doherty.
Tyrone: P McConnell, M Swift, Justin McMahon, D Carlin, D Harte, R McMenaminn, P Jordan,, K Hughes, C Cavanagh, B Dooher, S Cavanagh, Joe McMahon, M Penrose, S O’Neill, O Mulligan. Subs: J Devine, K Coney, M Donnelly, P Harte, J McAnulla, C McCarron, C McCullagh, B McGuigan, T McGuigan, N McKenna, R Mellon, R Mulgrew, M Murphy, S O’Neill, PJ Quinn.