McFerran sparks Antrim power surge
Antrim 5-17, Armagh 1-13
SHARPSHOOTING Antrim scored five goals as they brushed aside an overwhelmed Armagh side at Newry.
Four of their goals came in the first half and they held a 13-point advantage at the half-time interval, which effectively made the second half a training exercise for the Saffrons.
Armagh kept pace with their opponents in the early stages of the first half with points from David Grant, Conor McAnallen and Barry Coulter putting the Orchard County into an early lead.
Enda McFerran scored a fine individual goal on nine minutes and two minutes later Jude McCurdy swept a loose ball into the Armagh goal.
A superb pass from Conrad McDonnell set midfielder Cormac McAlister up for Antrim's third goal on 15 minutes and when Jude McCurry reacted quickest to a rebounded shot on 23 minutes, the match was effectively over as a contest.
Antrim led on a scoreline of 4-11 to 0-9 at half-time and although Lorcan Oliver found the net for Armagh in the second half, the Saffrons quashed any thought of a comeback with a fifth goal – a long-range effort from Ryan McCambridge that Armagh goalkeeper Patrick McGuigan failed to deal with.
The tempo of the game remained pedestrian thereafter allowing Antrim to progress with ease to the Ulster final.
SCORERS - Antrim: C Johnson 0-8 (7fs), J McCurdy 2-1, E McFerran 1-2, R McCambridge, C McAlister 1-0 each, D Nugent, C McDonnell, D Moran 0-2 each. Armagh: B Coulter 0-7 (6fs), C McAnallen 0-4 (3fs 1 '65'), L Oliver 1-0, P McKearney, D Grant 0-1 each.
ANTRIM – C Heyden; R Diamond, K O'Kane, S Gaskin; D O'Hara, P Burke, M Connolly; R McCambridge, C McAlister; E McFerran, D Nugent, D Moran; C McDonnell, J McCurdy, C Johnson. Subs: J Connolly for P Burke (h-t), J Duffin for C McAlister (43), R Gillen for M Connolly (46), S Shannon for C Johnson (46), R McNulty for K O'Kane (57)
ARMAGH – P McGuigan; S Mone, T Nevin, R Murray; C McAnallen, D Mone, A Fox; P McKearney , F Maguire; G McKeown, L Oliver, M McAvoy; D Grant, B Coulter, J O'Connor. Subs: C Mone for J O'Connor (21), D White for R Murray (21), M Moore for M McAvoy (h-t) P McArdle for G McKeown (50), B Malone for D Grant (53)
Ref – B Sweeney (Cavan)