Leinster Under 17 Hurling Championship – Quarter final
Offaly 3-22 Antrim 0-11
Antrim’s run in the Leinster Under 17 Hurling Championship came to an end at St Brigid’s Park, Dundalk on Saturday when they were beaten by and excellent Offaly team who powered their way to a semi-final meeting with Dublin next weekend with a convincing win.
Antrim fared well in the first half and seventeen minutes in were just a point adrift, but the Midlanders, who were brilliantly led by team captain Dan Ravenhill at centre forward and corner forward Adam Screeney were able to pull away when they were threatened.
Antrim, with Jack McCloskey leading the line, were still in contention at half time and went in just five points adrift. The closed the gap to just four a minute after the restart but by the time McCloskey got Antrim’s next point on fifty minutes the game had long been decided as Offaly turned on the style, with Ravenhill and Screeney in the heart of everything they did.
Offaly started the game well and Ranvenhill hand a point on the board inside 30 seconds. Jack McCloskey levelled matters with a point from a free a minute later but points from Screeney on 3 minutes and Ravenhill on 5, were followed by a great goal from the elusive Screeney to put his team 1-3 to 0-1 in front.
Antrim began to settle into the game and three points from Jack McCloskey and one from Cormac McKeown saw them close to the gap to a single points. Screeney goaled from a penalty on 21 minutes and then added a point from play, and though McCloskey sent over 3 points from frees in reply, Offaly finished strongly to lead by 2-7 to 0-8 at half time.
When Antrim hit the first score of the new half to leave just four between the sides it appeared like they would stay competitive, but Offaly took control and hit the next 4 points, before Screeney got his team’s teams’ third goal on 40 minutes. They added five more on the trot before Jack McCloskey broke the sequence with a pointed free, but it was to be brief respite for the Saffrons as the Offaly lades kept picking off the scores to wrap up an impressive win.