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Atkinson helps UCD teach hard lesson to outclassed Saffrons

UCD cruised to a comfortable 14-point victory over an understrength Antrim at Belfield yesterday afternoon.

The hosts made the perfect start with a Liam Ryan goal inside the opening minute before quickly adding points through Maurice Nolan and David O'Connor to open up a healthy lead midway through the half.

Antrim, missing their Dunloy contingent, fought back well through PJ O'Connell's goal on 18 minutes. But with Nolan in superb form from placed balls, the students regained the initiative and further goals from Wexford men Peter Atkinson and Ciaran Lyng had them 10 points ahead approaching half-time.

However, the visitors finished the half on a high through O'Connell's second goal of the game, and another from captain Karl McKeegan, as they reduced their deficit to just six points at 3-10 to 3-4 at the interval.

Two quick points from Neil McManus immediately after the restart narrowed the gap further, but UCD went on to dominate from that point with Nolan, O'Connor and Lyng all pointing, prior to Atkinson killing the game as a contest with a well-taken goal which was just reward for an industrious display.

The remainder of the match resembled shooting practice for the students, with Nolan adding two fine scores from play to add to his nine frees as UCD ran out comfortable victors and booked themselves a second-round clash with Colm Bonnar's Wexford next weekend.

Scorers -- UCD: M Nolan 0-11 (0-9f), P Atkinson 2-2, L Ryan, C Lyng 1-2 each, D O'Connor 0-3, J Boland 0-1.

Antrim: PJ O'Connell 2-1, K McKeegan 1-1 (1-0 f, '65'), N McManus 0-4 (0-3f), P McGill, M Scullion, S McRory, J McIntosh 0-1 each.

UCD -- M O'Sullivan; E O'Shea, S Cummins, O Gough; D Lyng, D Kenny, D Langton; J Boland, N Prendergast; D O'Connor, M Nolan, L Ryan; D O'Callaghan, P Atkinson, C Lyng. Subs: C Gleeson for Langton (15), J Maher for Boland (61), P Burns for Gough (66), R O'Loughlin for Ryan (67), J Foley for O'Connor (70).

Antrim -- R McGarry; M Devlin, N McAuley, A Graffin; T McCann, K McKeegan, B McFall; P McGill, M Scullion; S McCrory, N McManus, PJ O'Connell; S McNaughton, J McIntosh, D Hamill. Subs: R Donnelly for McGill (44), E McCloskey for Devlin (57).

Ref -- Joe O'Kelly (Wexford).

Irish Independent