Clarke gives masterclass in Saffrons cruise
Antrim 3-20 Kildare 0-17
Antrim began life in the Christy Ring Cup with a comfortable victory at Parnell Park.
Their win was effectively secured by the interval as they held a 2-13 to 0-5 lead.
Ciaran Clarke gave an exhibition in marksmanship in scoring 2-10; his 18th-minute goal opened up a sizeable lead.
That goal arrived after John Dillon's effort had been repelled by Paul Dermody and despite a Mark Grace point at the opposite end, Antrim were dominant and Clarke raced unimpeded from the left wing to fire a superb goal seven minutes before the break.
Kildare were a far more solid side upon the resumption and they gained some momentum thanks to efforts by Niall Ó Muineacháin and Brian Byrne.
However, the initiative was lost in the 58th minute as Clarke turned provider with a clever pass that Dillon managed to flick home past Dermody.
Scorers - Antrim: C Clarke 2-10 (0-7fs), J Dillon 1-0, C Carson, N McKenna, J Connolly 0-2 each, C Johnson, C McKinley, M Dudley, R McCambridge 0-1 each. Kildare: G Keegan 0-11 (5fs, 3 '65s'), M Fitzgerald 0-2, M Grace, P Divilly, N Ó Muineacháin, B Byrne 0-1 each.
Antrim - C O'Connell; S McRory, T McCloskey, R McCambridge; O McFadden, N McAuley, C McKinley; C Johnson, E Campbell; N McKenna, C Carson, J Dillon; J Connolly, S McAfee, C Clarke. Subs: E McCloskey for McAfee (54), M Dudley for Dillon (58), F Donnelly for Johnson (68).
Kildare - P Dermody; R Bergin, J Doran, C Gordon; S Gainey, M Moloney, M Grace; M Fitzgerald, P Ryan; P Cocoman, G Keegan, N Ó Muineacháin; B Byrne, P Divilly, D Flaherty. Subs: R Casey for Ryan (h-t), S Ryan for Cocoman (70).
Ref - J Cleere (Kilkenny)