Antrim reach seventh heaven
Antrim 1-19 Derry 0-17 Ulster U-21 hc final
Antrim made it seven Ulster U-21 hurling titles in a row, but only after they fended off the sticky challenge of a good Derry side in Ballinascreen last night'
Kevin Ryan's men were behind twice in the opening four minutes but when Conor Johnson fired home from a perfectly timed layoff by Saul McCaughan, Antrim took a lead they only surrendered for three minutes before the end.
Derry stayed in touch right throughout proceedings. The flawless free-taking of Brendan Douban helped Tom McLean's side restore parity by the interval, 1-7 to 0-10.
Antrim reacted by making a triple substitution at half-time but it was Cushendall's Eoghan Campbell who notched twice from play as his side went up through the gears.
SCORERS - Antrim: C Johnson 1-4 (3fs), J Connolly (1 65s) M Dudley, N McKenna 0-3 each, S McCaughan, E Campbell 0-2 each, C Ross, M Connolly 0-1 each. Derry: D Foley 0-11 (10 fs, 1 65s) C O'Doherty 0-2, T McCloskey, G Bradley, B Rogers, M McGuigan 0-1 each
Antrim - C Heyden; J McGoldrick, P Burke, T Burns; D O'Hara, R McCambridge, M Connolly; E Campbell, M Dudley; P McBride, J Connolly, N McKenna; C Johnson, T Ó Ciaran, S McCaughan
Subs: S McBride for Ó Ciaran (h-t), C Ross for O'Hara (h-t), D Murphy for McBride (h-t), D Traynor for Murphy (56)
Derry - C Owens; S Doyle, J McCullagh, C Quinn; M McGrath, M Mulgrew, E McGill; T McCloskey, G Bradley; B Rogers, M McGuigan, D Foley; J O'Dwyer, C O'Doherty, B Douban Subs: T Brady for Douban 28, B Laverty for McCloskey 53.
Ref - J Clarke (Cavan)