Cunningham class lifts Antrim
Antrim 1-12 Down 0-10
PADDY CUNNINGHAM'S first-half goal proved key for Antrim in Newry.
The victory wasn't enough to put the Saffrons through to the semi-finals, but it was a confidence-boosting win. Down were a point ahead early on, but Cunningham's goal after 22 minutes turned the game.
Michael Pollock teed Cunningham up to box the ball into an empty net. That put Antrim 1-3 to 0-4 ahead, and they outscored Down by 0-6 to 0-2 for the remainder of the half.
The Saffrons had six different players on the scoresheet, with newcomer Philip Maguire catching the eye, as they led by 1-9 to 0-6 at the break.
Down scored three frees after that, from Liam Doyle, Darragh O'Hanlon and Niall Madine, before CJ McGourty, Mark Sweeney and Brian Neeson confirmed Antrim's win.
Scorers -- Antrim: P Cunningham 1-3 (2fs), P Maguire 0-2, CJ McGourty (f), M Sweeney, M McCann, P Kelly, C Duffin, M Pollock, B Neeson 0-1 each. Down: N Madine 0-4 (3fs), D O'Hanlon 0-3 (2fs), L Doyle 0-2 (1f), A Carr 0-1.
ANTRIM -- C Kerr; K O'Boyle, S McVeigh, N Delargy; M McAleese, M Johnston, J Lavery; M Sweeney, M McCann; C Murray, P Maguire, P Kelly; P Cunningham, C Duffin, M Pollock. Subs: J Crozier for McAleese (43), B Neeson for Duffin (44), CJ McGourty for Cunningham (53), T McCann for Kelly (53), C Kelly for McVeigh (60).
DOWN -- B McVeigh; D McCartan, J McCarthy, S McNamee; C Garvey, A Carr, R Boyle; K King, P Fitzpatrick; D Turley, L Doyle, D O'Hanlon; N Madine, B Coulter, S Bell. Subs: B McArdle for Turley (30), D O'Hagan for Doyle (46), P Turley for King (55), E McCartan for D McCartan (60, BC), G McArdle for Fitzpatrick (64), M Lively for Garvey (67).
REF -- S McNamee (Tyrone)