Early Carson goal sets up Saffron stroll
ANTRIM 3-18 DERRY 0-9
The Antrim players knew that they owed something to their fans after the drubbing they got in Limerick last weekend, so they had to deliver the goods in yesterday's showdown at Casement Park.
They certainly restored some pride in the jersey with a free-wheeling victory to collect the provincial title for the 11th year in a row.
Antrim were quick out of the the blocks and were 1-4 to 0-2 up by the 10th minute. Liam Watson was in his normal free-taking mode and big Conor Carson raced through in the seventh minute to hit the Derry net.
Points from Ruairi and Paddy McCloskey halted the Antrim surge, for a brief spell, before the Saffrons returned to the points- scoring spree.
In the closing minutes of the first half, they rifled over five points to just one in reply to lead by 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
Derry made a brave effort on the resumption to turn the tide but it was obvious the Oak Leaf men didn't have enough power to trouble Antrim.
Two points was all that Derry could muster for half-an-hour as Antrim tagged on 1-7 to lead 2-16 to 0-7 with five minutes left.
Derry's woes were compounded when defenders Mark Craig and Michael Warnock both received straight red cards, on 65 and 66 minutes, as Eddie McCloskey fired in another Antrim goal.
SCORERS -- Antrim: L Watson 0-6 (4f, 1 '65'), S McNaughton, E McCloskey 1-2 each, C Carson 1-1, M Herron, B McAuley, N McManus 0-2 each, C McCann 0-1. Derry: P Henry 0-2 (1f), R McCloskey, M Craig, P Kelly (1 '65'), A Grant (f), P McCloskey, K Hinphey, R Convery (f),
ANTRIM -- D Quinn 8; James Campbell 7, N McGarry 8, A Graffin 8; M Herron 7, N McAuley 7, Johnny Campbell 8; B McAuley 7, S McNaughton 8; E McCloskey 7, C Carson 7, P Shiels 5; L Watson 7, N McManus 7, B McFall 6. Subs: C McCann 6 for Sheils (56), J Scullion for Watson (64), C Rea for B McAuley (64), D Hamill for McFall (68), C McFall for Carson (68).
DERRY -- D McDermott 8; S McCullagh 5, C Quinn 5, M Warnock 5; R McCloskey 6, L Hinphey 7, M Craig 6; O McCloskey 7, P Kelly 7; A Grant 6, P McCloskey 6, K Hinphey 6; C McKaigue 7, R Convery 6, P Henry 6. Subs: C McSorley 7 for Quinn (21), S McGuigan 5 for Henry (49), C Gilmore 5 for R McCloskey (49), S Farren 5 for P McCloskey (58), J McCloskey 5 for P Kelly (58).
REF -- T Carroll (Offaly).