Hamill keeps Antrim on title course
Ulster u-21 hc semi-finals
Antrim remain on course to retain their title after a four-point win over Down at a rain-lashed Casement Park last night.
Antrim led by a point at the break, having held a four-point advantage after 21 minutes. The home side played the better hurling in the opening stages and were value for their 0-8 to 0-4 lead when Darren Hamill stroked over his third free of the evening.
Down clawed their way back into contention through a Paul Keith goal, although the impressive Michael Armstrong extended Antrim's lead two minutes later. A Conor Woods '65' and an excellent point from Keith levelled matters, but a Hamill point gave Antrim a 0-10 to 1-6 lead at the break.
Down gained the lead for the first time after the restart when Danny Toner and Woods pointed, but Antrim scored five of the next seven points to regain control, the pick of which was a long-range effort from Michael Devlin.
The impressive Hamill kept the scoreboard ticking over for Antrim to secure a place in another Ulster final for the Glensmen.
SCORERS - Antrim: D Hamill 0-9 (0-4f, 0-2 '65'), M Armstrong
0-4, M Devlin 0-2, J Campbell, PJ O'Connell, T McCann 0-1, C Rocks 0-1 each. Down: P Keith 1-2, C Woods 0-4 (0-1, 0-1 '65', 0-1 sc), D Toner 0-4 (0-3f), C Mageean, A Clarke 0-1 each.
ANTRIM -- E Gillen; M Burke, S Shannon, L McAuley; C Carson, K Molloy, J Campbell; PJ O'Connell, G Laverty; M Devlin, T McCann, C Rocks; M Armstrong, D Hamill, C Brogan. Subs: Terry McAlister for M Burke, M Lynch for G Laverty
DOWN -- D Ennis; M Conlon, P Flynn, M Hughes; S Conlon, C Woods, C Hughes; A O'Prey, M Magee; C Mageean, P Keith, P McAleenan; D Toner, J Coyle, A Clarke. Subs: P O'Neill for A O'Prey
REF -- E Hasson (Derry).
coulter salvo sets orchard men alight
Armagh ran riot against Derry at Casement Park last night to claim a first ever place in the Ulster final.
The history-making Orchard men were in control all over the park and will now face the Saffrons in next week's decider at the same venue.
The game was as good as over at half-time when Armagh led by 2-6 to 0-2 against a disappointing Derry outfit, who failed to register a score until the 15th minute.
Armagh's Conor Coulter finished the game with 1-5 from play, with Michael Lennon supplying the other goal.
Derry at least shaded the second half spoils, with Patrick Henry doing most of the damage from frees, but Armagh had long since taken their foot off the pedal.
SCORERS -- Armagh: C Coulter 1-4, K McKiernan 0-4, M Lennon 1-0, D Carville, M Moan, M Maguire, C Corvan 0-1 each. Derry: P Henry 0-6, D O'Neill 0-2, P Cleary, A Grant 0-1 each.
Armagh -- P Kelly; R Comiskey, P Gaffney, JJ Hughes; S McNaughton, N Curry, D Carville; K McKiernan, M Maguire; J King, M Lennon, D Carville; F Woods, C Coulter, M Moan. Subs: C Corvan for F Woods, P Monaghan for S McNaughton.
Derry -- D McDermott; C Mackle, L Hawkins, D Flanagan; S Cassidy, D McCloskey, C Murphy; B Glass, G O'Neill; A Grant, D O'Neill, P Henry; C McSorley, P Kelly, C McElhinny Subs: B Og McGilligan for C Murphy, P Cleary for C McSorley, C Crossan for L Hawkins.
ReF -- G Duffy (Antrim) replaced by R Matthews (Antrim) at half-time.
- A goal by Meath full-forward Willie McGrath two minutes from the end of extra-time decided an entertaining Leinster MH Shield decider at Pairc Tailteann last night, the Royals beating Kildare 4-21 to 3-22.