Mournemen ease to victory in Clones
Down 1-16 Antrim 0-11
Down's pace, penetration and finishing proved too much for Armagh in Clones. The Mourne side took a grip on the game in the early stages and they never relented in their commitment and drive.
They led by 0-10 to 0-3 at half-time by which stage Liam Kerr, Ross Carr and Seamus Loughran had already indicated the level of threat that they could pose to the Saffrons.
Kerr landed five points in all (four frees) while Loughran hit four (one free) as did the imperious Carr as Conor Deegan's side reigned supreme in midfield and posed problems for the Antrim defence.
In the early stages of the second-half, Down scored four unanswered points before Aaron Devlin scored the game's only goal. Down face Tyrone next weekend in Omagh. "That will be a much tougher proposition but we like to think that we will be ready," said Deegan.
Scorers - Down: L Kerr 0-5 (4f); R Carr 0-4 (2 '45); S Loughran 0-4 (1f); A Devlin 1-0; D McClements, C Clarke, S Annett 0-1 each. Antrim: T McAteer, D McErlain, E Nagle 0-2 each; J McCaffrey, E McCabe, P Shivers, R Brolly, D McAteer 0-1 each.
Down: J Hazard; P Fegan, R McCrickard, A McAvoy; J McGeough, C Clarke, S Annett; R Carr, L Middleton; C Gorman, D McClements, R McCormack; C McCrickard, L Kerr, S Loughran. Subs: A Devlin for Middleton (5), B Gallen for Annett (37), C O'Rawe for Gorman (49), D Rees for McCormack (49), R McAvoy for Kerr (50), R Martin for Clarke (55).
Antrim: M Byrne; M Donnelly, J Lamont, E McAteer; R Convery, E McCabe, J McCaffrey; E McMenamin, D McErlaine; J Lenehan, T McAteer, D Smith; A Loughran, P Shivers, R Kelly. Subs: C O'Neill for A Loughran (25), A Mulholland for Donnelly 9half-time), E Nagle for Smith (31), A McNeilly for Kelly (42), D McAteer for Shivers (42), R Brolly for McCaffrey (53).
Ref - Conor Dourneen (Cavan)