Tuesday 12 December 2017

McQuillan's late strike seals title for Antrim

Antrim 3-13 Derry 2-8 

Conor McHugh of Antrim in action against Eoghan O'Kane of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Conor McHugh of Antrim in action against Eoghan O'Kane of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Favourites Antrim had a little too much for an under-cooked Derry side, lifting the Ulster Minor Hurling Championship for the fifth year in a row.

Colly Murphy's side survived a late Derry rally at Owenbeg to run out eight-point winners, with Ed McQuillan's second goal of the game in the final minute confirming the Saffrons' clear victory.

Michael McGreevy of Antrim in action against Martin Quinn and Eoghan Kane of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Michael McGreevy of Antrim in action against Martin Quinn and Eoghan Kane of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

A quick burst of rain prior to throw-in conspired to rob the first half of any real tempo or sleek hurling as both sets of players struggled with the slippery ball.

Holders Antrim had the majority of play and despite racking up ten wides in the opening 30 minutes, the Saffrons' ability to find the back of the net twice saw them run in six points up at the break, leading by 2-4 to 0-4.

Early points from Derry's Richie Mullan and Tiarnan McHugh sandwiched a couple from Antrim's Sean Elliott and Conor Boyd to tie the score at 0-2 apiece after 11 stuttering minutes.

Tiarnan Murphy then pounced on a goalkeeping error to jab the ball to the back of the net and hand Antrim the lead in the fifth minute, a lead they never looked like relinquishing for the rest of the match.

Ed McQuillan of Antrim in action against Martin Quinn and Richie Mullan of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ed McQuillan of Antrim in action against Martin Quinn and Richie Mullan of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

The holders controlled the third quarter and led 2-10 to 0-5 with 18 minutes to go before Derry staged a late fightback with Mullan and Ruairi Rafferty both hitting goals.

But Antrim would not be denied, and when McQuillan rocketed home his second major of the contest the victory was confirmed.

Scorers - Antrim: T Murphy 1-5 (0-2fs), E McQuillan 2-1, D Smith 0-3, S Elliott 0-2 (1f), C McHugh, C Boyd 0-1 each.

Derry: R Mullan 1-3 (0-3fs), R Rafferty 1-0, T McHugh 0-2, T Rankin, P McLaughlin, D Quinn 0-1 each.

Ed McQuillan of Antrim in action against Richie Mullan of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ed McQuillan of Antrim in action against Richie Mullan of Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Antrim - P McMullan; M Smith, S Walsh, P Lennon; F McCurry, C Boyd, R McGarry; M McGreevy, C McHugh; E McQuillan, C Scullion, D Smith; T Murphy, A McGrath, S Elliott. Subs: R Molly for C Scullion (49), S Magill for F McCurry (52), C McBride for A McGrath (55), M McCavanagh for P Lennon (59), D Magee-Baker for M Smith (59)

Derry - S Kelly; C McAlinden, T Walsh, R Rafferty; M McEldowney, R Mullan, F Cassidy; M Quinn, T Rankin; F Bradley, E O'Kane, P McLaughlin; D Quinn, T McHugh, R McSorley

Ref - C Murray (Down)

Eoghan O'Kane of Derry in action against Michael McGreevy of Antrim. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Eoghan O'Kane of Derry in action against Michael McGreevy of Antrim. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport