Sunday 28 December 2014

Saffrons shut door on Derry

ANTRIM 0-17 DERRY 0-9 - ULSTER MHC FINAL

Published 14/07/2014 | 02:30

Antrim's Caolan McCaughan races clear of Gabriel Farren of Derry during the Ulster minor hurling championship final at Owenbeg. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Antrim's Caolan McCaughan races clear of Gabriel Farren of Derry during the Ulster minor hurling championship final at Owenbeg. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Antrim's won a 12th Ulster minor title in 13 years but were unconvincing as they failed to pull clear of a gritty Derry side until late.

The sides went in level at half-time at 0-6, with Derry's defence holding firm and Corey O'Reilly putting in a strong performance in the forward line.

It was a game in which defences dominated at both ends, with Eoin Conlon superb at centre-back for the winners, and eventually Derry's inability to trouble the Saffron defence proved the difference.

The hosts had the breeze in front of a crowd that eventually swelled to 1,243 at Owenbeg.

They failed to make full use of it, and it was the Saffrons' ability to take scores in the second period that told the tale as their championship prowess shone through.

Antrim, despite firing 12 wides in the second half, made enough of their domination to get over the line, but will have to improve if they are to trouble Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final in two weeks' time.

SCORERS – Antrim: C McNaughton 0-6 (4fs), D Rocks 0-4, C McCaughan, J McCurry 0-2 each, D McLaughlin, J Carey, R Rooney 0-1 each. Derry: P Burke 0-3 (f), C O'Reilly, C Steele 0-2 each, F McGurk, E McGill 0-1 each.

Antrim – C Butler; S Gaskin, R McNulty, HP McNeill; G Walsh, E Conlan, C McCaughan; C McMullan, R Rooney; C Patterson, J McNaughton, C McNaughton; J McCurry, D Rocks, J Carey. Subs: A Burke for Patterson (23), D McLaughlin for Carey (37), R Irvine for McMullan (51), D Carey for Burke (56), J Daniels for G Walsh (60)

Derry – C Owens; M Glass, P Turner, J Mullan; G Farren, C Quinn, D McPeake; T Magee, E McGill (0-1); C Steele (0-2), Prionsias Burke (0-3f), C O'Reilly (0-2); F McGurk (0-1), B Laverty, D Cartin; Subs: C McReynolds for Farren (25), S O'Neill for Magee (h-t), J Grant for Cartin (39), SF Quinn for Laverty (48)

Ref – J McAndrew (Monaghan)

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