Wednesday 29 March 2017

Loughlin points way

Derry 0-16 Antrim 0-11

8 January 2014; A match ball sits during a wet night in Laois. Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup, Group A, Round 2, Laois v Offaly, O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
8 January 2014; A match ball sits during a wet night in Laois. Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup, Group A, Round 2, Laois v Offaly, O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

A virtuoso free-taking display from Niall Loughin was the highlight of Derry's five-point win over Antrim at Celtic Park.

The Greenlough sharpshooter finished the night with nine points, which included four monster '45s to see the Oak-Leaf county proceed to the first round proper against Donegal.

A comfortable 0-12 to 0-3 lead at half-time suggested this was going to be a gentle baptism for the home side in this year's Ulster Championship but an improved Antrim after the break out-scored Derry but had left themselves too much to do.

Derry stormed to an early 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 10 minutes, with Peter Hagan, Aidan Keenan, Niall Toner and that man Loughlin with points.

Points from Seamus McGarry and Oisin Leneghan started an Antrim revival mid-way through the half, but the home side responded, rattling off the last five points of the half.

Two Loughlin '45s stretched Derry's lead to 0-14 to 0-3 shortly after the restart. But after that the Saffrons dominated.

SCORERS - Derry: N Loughlin (09, 5f, 4 '45s), P Hagan, J Donaghy 0-2, N Toner, M McGrath, A Keenan 0-1. Antrim: O Eastwood (0-5, 5f), S McGarry (0-2), O Leneghan, S McNulty, B Rice, R McCann (0-1).

Derry: C McCloy; N Keenan, T McCrossan, O Hegarty; J Rocks, M McEvoy, P Hagan; J Bradley, M McGrath; D Tallon, T O'Brien, J Donaghy; N Toner, N Loughlin, A Keenan. Reps: O Duffy for P Hagan (50), R McElwee for N Toner (57), D Curran for T O'Brien (64), Conor Convery for A Keenan (66).

Antrim: R Hanna; R Delargy, O Hamill, G McCorley; J McAuley, P Healy, R Hannigan; O Leneghan, C Loney; R Scott, R McCann, S McGarry; O Eastwood, D Nugent, C Small.

Subs: R McNulty for C Loney (38), C Lyttle for R Hannigan (38), Ben Rice for R Scott (58), Joe Maskey for R McNulty (67).

Referee: S McLaughlin (Donegal).

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