Antrim turn to Close for comfort
CIARAN Close's goal helped Antrim to a hard-earned Dr McKenna Cup victory over Derry yesterday.
The victory was Antrim's first over the Oak Leaf county in 15 years.
Derry, with former minor stars Declan Mullan and Eoin Bradley picking off scores at will, threatened to have the game won by half time.
But a Michael McCann goal galvanised Antrim and when Michael Magill added a second the Saffrons were back on level terms. It then took Close to score the decisive goal.
Scorers -- Antrim: P Cunningham 0-5 (3f), M McCann, M Magill, C Close 1-0 each, E O'Neill, D Edwards 0-1 each.
Derry: E Bradley 0-7 (3f), R Wilkinson 0-3, D Mullan 0-2, K O'Neill, F Doherty, Paul Bradley (f) 0-1 each.
Antrim-- J Finnucane; A Douglas, P Doherty, D Gault; T Scullion, K McQuillan, J Loughrey; B Hasson, N O'Connell; M McCann, E O'Neill, B Herron; P Cunningham, M Magill, G O'Boyle. Subs: D Edwards for N O'Connell; K Brady for B Hasson; C Close for E O'Neill; P Carey for K McQuillan.
Derry -- M Dunne; J O'Kane, G McLaughlin, B McGuigan; L Hinphey, G O'Kane, C Kielt; F Doherty, Patsy Bradley; A McCartney, R Wilkinson, K O'Neill; E Bradley, D Mullan, Paul Bradley. Subs: B Mullan for A McCartney; M McGoldrick for B McGuigan; E Lynn for D Mullan; J Diver for K O'Neill; S Bradley for Paul Bradley.
Ref -- L Smyth (Down).