Clarke stars as Antrim avenger
Antrim avenged last year's shock defeat by London with a seven-point victory against the Exiles at Corrigan Park, Belfast yesterday.
Antrim 0-20 London 0-13
Played in windy conditions, Antrim opened the scoring after two minutes with Ciaran Clarke firing over. Conor McCann doubled the lead but London quickly levelled through Brian Regan and Adam Murphy.
Midway through the half the Saffrons pulled ahead with Clarke, Conor Johnston and McCann on target before London 'keeper Eoin Kelly converted a long free to make it 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.
Antrim came on strong in the third quarter with Clarke accurate from frees and sub Deaglan Murphy getting on the scoresheet. By the 48th minute, the home side led 0-15 to 0-6 with Stephen Bardon then hitting London's first second-half score.
Antrim kept the scoreboard ticking over through Clarke, Paul Shiels, Murphy and Conor McKinley to hold on, while London relied on the accuracy of Bardon and Kelly.
SCORERS - Antrim: C Clarke 0-9 (7f), C McCann 0-3, C McKinley, N McKenna & D Murphy 0-2 each, P Shiels, Conor Johnston 0-1 each. London: S Bardon 0-7 (5f, 1 '65), E Kelly 0-2 (2f), B Regan, A Murphy, C Kerr & P Uniacke 0-1 each.
Antrim - C O'Connell 7; S Rooney 7, J Dillon 7, Ciaran Johnston 7; S McCrory 9, O McFadden 8, C McKinley 9; E Campbell 8, D McKernan 7; P McGill 7, C McCann 8, N McKenna 8; C Clarke 9, P Shiels 7, Conor Johnston 8. Subs: D Murphy 8 for D McKernan (46), C Carson 7 for P Shiels (63), M Connolly 6 for P McGill (63), N McAuley for J Dillon (68).
London - E Kelly 8; T Lawrence 6, O Gatley 7, M Conroy 7; S Griffey 6, P Horkan 7, N Rogers 8; B Regan 7, E Cooney 7; O Shiel 7, S Bardon 9, D Roberts 8; A Murphy 8, T Kelly 7, S O'Donnell 7. Subs: P Uniacke 7 for S Griffey (27), A Griffiths 6 for B Regan (55), J Kelly 7 for T Lawrence (57), C Kerr 7 for E Cooney (61), M Coady for Shiel (68).
Ref - M Murtagh (Westmeath)