Tyrone put Antrim to the sword

Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship

                             Antrim 0-5 Tyrone 3-17

Antrim suffered a heavy defeat to a Noah Grimes inspired Tyrone in the Ulster Minor Football championship at Corrigan Park today. The young Saffrons found themselves five points behind after only seven minutes but seemed to have settled when an excellent point from play from Tarlach Enright and another following a ‘mark’ from Rory McErlane saw them close the gap to three with 18 minutes gone.

It was as good as it was to get for Antrim however as Tyrone came back strongly to lead by 0-9 to 0-2 at half time but any hopes of a second half comeback were quickly put to bed when Conor O’Neill got through for an excellent Tyrone goal in the opening minute of the second half.

Noah Grimes got the visitors off the mark as he pointed after 30 seconds and added another from a ‘45’ with two minutes on the clock. Charlie Donnelly fisted over Tyrone’s third and further points from a Grimes free and another from Eoin McElholm saw the visitors move five in front.

Antrim finally opened their account with points from Enright and McErlane but it failed to spur them into further action as Tyrone finished the half strongly with points from Caolan Donnelly 0-2, a superb long range effort from Sean Hughes and further points from Michael McElholm and Grimes again to move into a comfortable half time lead.

O’Neill’s goal on the restart put paid to any notion of an Antrim comeback and further goals from Caolan Donnelly and Michael McElhatton saw the Red Hands push on to win comfortably but to their credit Antrim never gave up, fighting right to the final whistle against impossible odds.

They were rewarded with second half points from Tarlach Enright, Ciaran McAleese and a great late score from Conhuir Johnston but there was no holding a rampant Tyrone side who have already won the league and on this form should go on to reclaim their Ulster title.

Antrim can take some consolation from their win over Monaghan in the last round when they started as rank outsiders but travelled to the Farney County and recorded an excellent victory. Tonight proved to be a bridge too far but Paul McErlean, Barry Burns and Matthew Gribbin and their backroom team have done excellent work with this group of players and undoubtedly we will see quite a few of them in the Saffron jersey in the not too distant future.

Antrim: Jamie McLaughlin, Thomas Lloyd, Conor Logue, Hugh O’Donnell, Paul Duffin, Bairre Burens, Kevin McCann, Manus McCrossan, Tiernan McCormick, Tarlach Enright, Conhuir Johnston, Rory McErlane, Ciaran McAleese, Niall Hynds, James Blaney. 16 Noah Jeffries, 17 Diarmuid O’Sullivan, 18 Sean Boyd, 19Lorcan Phillips, 20 Niall McKenna, 21 Ronan Quinn, 22Ben McLarnon, 23 Rian Brown

Tyrone: Conor McAneney, Joey Clarke, Ben Hughes, Conor Devlin, Conan Devlin, Callum Daly, Nathan Farry, Sean Hughes, Conor O’Neill, Charlie Donnelly, Eoin McElholm, Caolan Donnelly, Noah Grimes, Ruairi McCullagh, Michael McElhatton, 16 Conan McGarvey, 17 Barry McMenamin, 18 Shane mcCaul, 19 Eoin Donaghy, 20 Sheehan Fay, 21 Niall McCarney, 22 Leo Hughes, 23 Ryan Donnelly 24 Liam Og Mossey

Referee: John Murphy (Fermanagh)

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