Ulster U21 HC: Antrim cruise to Ulster triumph

July 23, 2014

Antrim's Captain Jackson McGreevy raises the Ulster U21 HC Cup
Antrim 7-17
Down 1-5

Down didn't offer much of a challenge to Antrim in this Ulster U21 Hurling final with the Saffron running out convincing winners by a whopping 30 points.

Despite moving into a 0-2 to 0-0 lead in the opening minutes, Down failed to register a score for over 30 minutes and found themselves 3-9 to 0-3 in arrears when they finally hit the target.

The game was all but over at this stage but Antrim refused to ease off the pressure and ruthlessly converted 3 goals in as many minutes to push the scoreline to 6-14 to 1-3 after 50 minutes.

Peter Mason and Eoin Sands opened the scoring for Down before Antrim took over and aided by a Sean McAfee goal lead by 1-7 to 0-2 at half-time.

Antrim had the dream start to the second half with two quickfire goals to kill off any hope of a Down revival.

Niall McKenna notched the first after a fine solo run before Saul McCaughan added a second.

Antrim kept the scoreboard ticking over to build a lead of 3-14 to 0-3 before a flurry of four goals in as many minutes put a drastic change on the scoreboard.

Antrim's Connor Burke raised the green flag first which was immediately cancelled out by Conal Fitzsimmons.

The prominent Ciaran Clarke netted from Antrim's next attack before Burke added his second major of the night to leave the scoreboard reading 6-14 to 1-3.

The Antrim pressure was relentless and the Saffron County kept the pressure up to the final whistle, McCaughan added a point after he'd bagged his second goal of the night to complete the rout.

Antrim: C Butler; T O Ciarain, P Burke, F Donnelly; J McGreevy (0-1), E Campbell, M Bradley; D McGuinness, M Dudley (0-1); D McCloskey (0-1), R McCambridge (0-1), N McKenna (1-2); C Clarke (1-6), D McKernan (0-2), S McAfee (0-1).
Subs: Sean McAfee (1-0) for McGuinness (23), S McCaughan (2-1) for Donnelly (h-t), C Burke (2-0) for McCloskey (44) E McCaughan (0-1) for Stephen McAfee (48), M Connolly for Bradley (52).

Down: S Savage; M Conlan, M McCullough, G O'Neill; C Taggart, C O'Neill, J McGrath (0-1); J McManus, R Brannigan; P Mason (0-1), B Nicholson, C Egan; L Savage, S Mageean, E Sands (0-2).
Subs: B Byers for G O'Neill (37), C Fitzsimmons (1-1) for Savage (41), A Scott for McManus (55), J Doran for McCullough (55), D Mallon for Mageean (55).

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