Late McKinley strike makes it 14-in-a-row
Antrim 1-15 Down 1-14
Conor McKinley was the Antrim hero at Owenbeg yesterday as his last-gasp point sealed a 14th straight Ulster Senior Hurling title.
The Dunloy man floated over a fine point in injury-time to secure the victory.
Antrim looked well-placed early on when Conor McCann's shot dropped short, but evaded Down goalkeeper, Stephen Keith, and the ball ended up in the net.
Down replied well, with Gareth Johnson on target, while Steven Dineen and Paul Sheehan chipped in to give their side the lead.
It was nip and tuck in the first half until the 27th minute, when Down were awarded a penalty as Johnson was taken down by Thomas McCann. The Ballygalget man stepped up and buried the resultant shot into the net.
Antrim did rally, but it was Down who led 1-9 to 1-6 at the break.
The Saffrons continued to fight back after the restart, but Down always seemed to have an answer.
The game was in the balance going into the home straight, but Antrim found another gear.
Down thought they had the winner, when Donal Hughes hit an point, but PJ O'Connell responded before McKinley's winner.
SCORERS - Antrim: D McClean 0-6 (6f ), C McCann 1-1, C Carson 0-2 , R McCambridge, C McKinley, PJ O'Connell, D McKernan, C Ross, J Connolly (1 f) 0-1 each. Down: G Johnson 1-8 ( 1-7 f), P Sheehan, C Woods, S Dineen, C Fitzsimons, M Ennis, D Hughes 0-1 each.
ANTRIM - C O'Connell; O McFadden, M Donnelly, R McCambridge, J Dillon, C McKinley, T McCann; N McAuley, M Dudley; PJ O'Connell, C McCann, E Campbell; D McClean, C Carson, D McKernan. Subs: C Ross for Donnelly (HT), P Burke for Campbell (HT), N McKenna for McAuley (42), J Connolly for McKernan (56), D Traynor for McClean (56).
DOWN - S Keith; M Hughes, S Ennis, M McCullough; R Brannigan, C O'Neill, D McManus; P Sheehan, F Conway; C Woods, J McCusker, S Dineen; J McManus, G Johnson , J Coyle. Subs: C Fitzsimons for Coyle (12 mins), M Ennis for McCusker (24), D Hughes for Sheehan (HT), S Nicholson for Conway (59), M Turley for Fitzsimons (67), M Nicholson for G Johnson (70 - blood sub, not reversed).
REF - D Hughes (Carlow)