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Facile victory over Down sees Antrim crowned champions

Antrim 7-17 Down 1-5 - Ulster U-21 hurling final

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Niall McKenna scored a goal for Antrim which helped kill off Down in their Ulster under-21 hurling final. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Niall McKenna scored a goal for Antrim which helped kill off Down in their Ulster under-21 hurling final. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Antrim thrashed Down by 30 points in last night's Ulster U-21 hurling final. Five of Antrim's goals came from substitutes, with Connor Burke and Saul McCaughan each netting twice in the second half at the Athletic Grounds.

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After conceding the opening two scores to Peter Mason and Eoghan Sands, Antrim hit an unanswered 1-7 to lead by eight points at the interval. Ciaran Clarke hit 0-3 in the opening period. Antrim sub Sean McAfee scored a goal in the 27th minute with his first touch, kicking to an empty net after good work by Clarke.

Jackson McGreevy and Niall McKenna added points to give Antrim a 1-7 to 0-2 lead at the break. Two goals just after the restart killed the game off, with Niall McKenna and McCaughan scoring within 30 seconds of each other.

James McGrath ended Down's drought in the 38th minute but it was only brief respite, with Burke grabbing a brace of goals. McCaughan also netted his second, while Down sub Conal Fitzsimmons scored a consolation goal in the 49th minute. Clarke added his goal in the 50th minute.

Scorers: Antrim: C Clarke 1-6 (2fs), S McCaughan 2-1, C Burke 2-0, N McKenna 1-2, Sean McAfee 1-0, D McKernan 0-2, J McGreevy, M Dudley, D McCloskey, R McCambridge, Stephen McAfee, E McCaughan 0-1 each. Down: C Fitzsimmon 1-1, E Sands 0-2, J McGrath, P Mason 0-1 each.

Antrim: C Butler; T O Ciarain, P Burke, F Donnelly; J McGreevy, E Campbell, M Bradley; D McGuinness, M Dudley; D McCloskey, R McCambridge, N McKenna; C Clarke, D McKernan, A McAfee. Subs: Sean McAfee for McGuinness (23), S McCaughan for Donnelly (h-t), C Burke for McCloskey (44) E McCaughan for Stephen McAfee (48), M Connolly for Bradley (52).

Down: S Savage; M Conlan, M McCullough, G O'Neill; C Taggart, C O'Neill, J McGrath; J McManus, R Brannigan; P Mason, B Nicholson, C Egan; L Savage, S Mageean, E Sands. Subs: B Byers for G O'Neill (37), C Fitzsimmons for Savage (41), A Scott for McManus (55), J Doran for McCullough (55), D Mallon for Mageean (55).

Referee: A Nash (Derry).

Irish Independent

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