Walsh Cup Senior hurling – Group One
Dublin 3-26 Antrim 2-22
Antrim started their Walsh Cup campaign with a seven point defeat to Dublin at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon but despite defeat it was an encouraging display by the men in Saffron. The final scorline was a little unkind to the visitors as Dublin got a goal in the final minute to put a somewhat one sided slant on things. Not that Dublin didn’t deserve their victory, for they were well worthy of the win, and were never headed throughout the hour.
With the Dunloy players all missing Antrim started with four debutants, with the Loughgiel’s trio Rory McCloskey Paul Boyle and Rian Bubbles McMullan plus Sarsfields Caolan McKernan all in the starting line-up.
With their centre forward Joe Flanagan in impressive form Dublin held the upper hand through the first half. Flanaghan hit nine in the opening half but with Neill McManus on target from frees and Mick Bradley and Niall McKenna adding scores from play the visitors kept in touch. A Liam Murphy goal on 25 minutes put Dublin well clear but a great spell before the break and a series of excellent points from Paul Boyle, Rian MMullan, James McNaughton (2) and Neill McManus left them just two in arrears going in at half time. (1-14 to 1-12)
A Liam Murphy goal in the opening minute of the new half swung the game firmly towards Dublin but Antrim kept in touch and a good little spell during the half saw them close to within a goal again as Daniel McKernan, James McNaughton and Mick Bradley all found the target and when McManus set up Niall McKenna for a well taken goal it was game on again.
Paul McMullan denied the Dubs what looked like a certain goal when he somehow got a hurl to a shot by substitute Andrew Jamieson-Murphy, when Paul Boyle pointed at the other end second later the side were level with just 13 minutes left on the clock.
However the Dubs finished stronger and pulled away to win by seven in the end.
DUBLIN: D Perry; J Bellew, D Gray (0-1), E Moran; D Power, C O’Leary (0-2), D McBride (0-1); C Costello (0-1), A Mallett; C Dowling, J Flanagan (0-14, 8 frees, 3 65s), C Boland (0-1); C O’Sullivan (0-2), G Whelan (1-1), L Murphy (1-0).
Subs: J Madden for A Mellett (49), C Boyle (0-1) for C Dowling (49), A Jamieson-Murphy (1-2, 0-1 free) for L Murphy (55), C Burke for C Costello (57), A Considine for D Power (62), E O’Donnell for J Flanagan (67).
ANTRIM: P McMullan; P Burke, R McCloskey, N O’Connor; M Bradley (0-3), E Campbell (0-2), C Bohill (0-2); J Maskey, D McKernan (0-1); P Boyle (0-1), J McNaughton (0-4, 1 free), N McKenna (1-2); R McMullan (1-1), N McManus (0-3, 2 frees), C McKernan (0-1).
Subs: S Walsh for D McKernan (50), E O’Neill for N McManus (50), D McMullan for C McKernan (50), A Bradley for R McMullan (56), E McAlonan for J Maskey (56), S McAuley (0-1) for P Boyle (61), E Og McGary for M Bradley (61), G Walsh for C Bohill (61), E Trainor for R McCloskey (64)
REFEREE: Eamonn Furlong (Wexford)