Honours even in dress rehearsal for Croker final
Antrim 0-12 Louth 1-9
Antrim and Louth played out a dress rehearsal for the Division 4 final at Corrigan Park, Belfast, yesterday where a draw was a fitting result ahead of the Croke Park decider in three weeks' time.
With both sides already promoted, the teams shadow-boxed through the first half and it was 0-5 apiece at the break.
Eoin Lafferty opened the scoring for Louth with a Mick McCann free levelling matters. The visitors had the best of the exchanges until the quarter-hour mark and Colm Judge and Conal McKeever converted frees to move into a two-point lead.
Three scores for Antrim had the home side in front for the first time on 24 minutes. A Robbie Curran free levelled matters once more with Judge's second free edging Louth ahead. Antrim dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Leinster side to take an 0-11 to 0-6 lead. A James Califf free ended the Louth drought, and when Ryan Burns added two points, Louth trailed by 0-11 to 0-9.
The visitors looked to have snatched victory when Gerard McSorley fired home the game's only goal but a late Antrim point made matters all square.
SCORERS - Antrim: T McCann 0-4, (1f), B Neeson (1f), M McCann (1f) 0-3 each, N McKeever, D McAleese 0-1 each. Louth: G McSorley 1-1, C Judge (2f), R Burns (1f) 0-2 each, R Curran (f), E Lafferty, C McKeever (f), J Califf (f) 0-1 each.
Antrim - R Hanna 7; R Johnson 6, S McVeigh 8, K O'Boyle 6; P McAleer 6, M Johnson 7, P Gallagher 6; N McKeever 7, J Carron 6; M Armstrong 6, P Kelly 6, M Sweeney 6; B Neeson 7, K Niblock 7, M McCann 7. Subs: N Delargy 6 for P Kelly (35), T McCann 7 for M Armstrong (h/t), D McAleese 7 for P McAleer (ht), C Murray 6 for J Carron (47), P McBride 6 for B Neeson (51, black card), M Fitzpatrick for P Gallagher (67)
Louth - N Gallagher 8; D Finn 6, D Quigley 6, J Bingham 7; A Williams 6, R Curran 7, E Lafferty 6; D O'Connell 6, T Durnin 6; R Moore 6, C Judge 8, C Bellew 6; G McSorley 8, C McKeever 7, C Doyle 6. Subs: J Califf 7 for T Durnin (41), R Burns 8 for C Doyle (41), J Stewart 6 for C Bellew (45), M Rafferty 6 for R Moore (51), C Grimes 6 for D O'Connell (58), D Byrne for A Williams (67)
Ref - S Hehir (Galway).