Antrim get the better of Down, but only just

Ulster Under 20 Hurling Championship – round robin 2

Down 0-18 Antrim 1-17

Antrim made it two wins out of two in the Ulster Under 20 Hurling Championship when they got the better of Down at Portaferry on Saturday in a game that was tense and tight from start to finish. In face the only time there was any daylight between the two teams was in the opening five minute when the boys from the Ards took a 0-3 to 0-0 lead, and in the end it took a goal from Antrim’s Joe McLaughlin and two outstanding saves from goalkeeper Eoghan Richmond, and four points from play by substitute Cormac McKeown to get the Saffrons across the line with their noses in front.

The first half turned out to be a shoot-out between Down’s ace marksman Tom McGrattan and Antrim’s Aodhan McGarry, both players showing great accuracy from placed balls. McGrattan accounted for seven of his team’s nine points, the other two coming from Fionn Turpin and Michael Dorrian, while McGarry got six for Antrim with Aidan Scullion, Niall McGarrel and Joe McLaughlin getting the others.

Level at 0-9 apiece at the interval, Goalkeeper Richmond was called upon soon after the change of ends when he pulled off a great double save. They were still level seven minutes into the second half when the introduction of substitute Cormac McKeown starred to see Antirm edge ahead, the Glenravel teenager hitting four from play, between there and the end, three of them coming in the last ten minutes. Joe McLaughlin struck a vital goal after a good flowing move and netminder Richmond denied McGrattan from a penalty to get Antrim home by the shin of their teeth.  

ANTRIM

Eoghan Richmond, Ben McGarry, Ruairi McCormick, Dubaltach Wilson, Daire McMullan, Eoin Trainor, Conor Dickson, Eoin McFerran, Aodhan McGarry (0-6), Joseph McLaughlin (1-0), Seanie McIntosh (0-1), Luke O’Connor, Niall McGrrell (0-4), Aidan Scullion (0-1), Jack MCloskey (0-2)

Subs –

Cormac McKeown (0-04) for Aidan Scullion HT

Ryan Mort for Luke O’Connor 43 Mins

Diarmaid Rogan for Joseph McLaughlin
55 mins

Darragh Kelly for Seanie McIntosh
55 mins

Ronan McCollum for Niall McGarel
59 mins

DOWN

Cathal Laverty, James Higgins, Declan Mallon, Eoin Pucci, Ciaran Milligan, Ciaran Savage, Finn McFall, Ryan O’Neill, Finn Turpin, Ehtan Bell, James Duggan, Sean Milligan, Michael Dorrian, Tom McGrattan, Oisin Coulter.

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