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Cooney fumes over red cards

OFFALY manager Gerry Cooney left Casement Park fuming after seeing two of his players sent off as his team suffered a nine-point defeat.

"We had five yellow cards and no cards for the opposition and there wasn't a bad foul in the game. It's hard to take," said Cooney.

"I spoke to the referee. He said it (the sending-off) was for abusive language -- if that's a red card, I think we'd see an awful lot more."

The game was level four times before Paddy Cunningham goaled on 24 minutes to give Antrim a 1-7 to 0-6 lead. Three minutes later Shane Sullivan was sent off, before Brian Neeson stretched the Antrim lead to five points at the break.

Tomas McCann began the second half with a bang, jinking through the Offaly defence 18 seconds after the restart to finish superbly.

Offaly sub Anton Sullivan got his marching orders late on for a second bookable offence.

Man of the Match: Tomas McCann (Antrim)

Scorers -- Antrim: T McCann 1-3 (3f), P Cunningham 1-1, B Neeson, J Loughery 0-3 each, T Scullion, M Sweeney, C Kelly, M McCann 0-1 each. Offaly: N Dunne 1-5 (2f), K Casey 0-2, D Hanlon 0-1.

Antrim -- C Kerr 5; P Gallagher 6, D O'Hagan 7, M McAleese 6; T Scullion 8, J Crozier 8, J Loughery 8; M McCann 7, C Kelly 7; T McCann 9, K Brady 6, M Armstrong 7; B Neeson 8, M Sweeney 7, P Cunningham 7. Subs: M Johnson 6 for M McAleese (35), M Magill 6 for K Brady (45), S Finch 6 for T Scullion (61), R Murray 7 for B Neeson (61), A Gallagher 6 for M Sweeney (69)

Offaly -- A Mulhall 7; J Gallagher 7, S Sullivan 7, K Lynam 6; B Darby 6, J Maloney 7, S Pender 7; B Connor 7, N Smith 7; J Keane 6, A McNamee 6, N Dunne 8; L Hiney 6, W Mulhall 7, K Casey 7. Subs: D Hanlon 8 for K Lynam (40), G Guilfoyle 7 for J Keane (40), A Sullivan 6 for A McNamee (48), D Kelly 6 for L Hiney 52), B Hanamy 6 for N Dunne (63)

Ref -- C Branagan (Down).

Irish Independent

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