Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Antrim still seeking to escape foot of the table

Antrim's hurlers remain rooted to the bottom of Division 1B after a 2-21 to 1-12 defeat to Wexford on Saturday.

The Saffrons travelled to Wexford Park with high hopes on the back of good recent league record against their hosts and started brightly with Shay Casey firing to the net in the seventh minute.

The Ulster side led 1-3 to 0-3 after 15 minutes but a Paul Morris brace helped Wexford to level terms. A superb David Redmond strike on 30 minutes saw Wexford to a 1-13 to 1-9 lead at the break and within 30 seconds of the restart the home side made the game safe when Rory Jacob – who finished on 1-6 – fired to the Antrim net.

Antrim managed just three points in the second half, with only Darren Hamill scoring from play, while Wexford saw out the game with five unanswered scores. Kevin Ryan's side must pick up points over the next two weeks against Carlow (away) or Offaly (home) – and hope that other results go their way – in order to avoid relegation.

In Division 2A Derry moved into second with a tense win over Kildare at Celtic Park. The Oak Leafers trailed by 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time but a Ruairi Convery goal levelled matters on 57 minutes, and the same player landed a long-range free at the death to secure a 1-17 to 1-14 victory.

Down claimed the first points of their Division 2B campaign with a 2-24 to 1-12 win over Roscommon at Pairc Esler. A Danny Toner goal midway through the first half gave Down a 1-8 to 0-5 lead, and their second goal came before the break from Gareth Johnson for a 2-13 to 0-9 lead at the short whistle. Also in Division 2B, Armagh travelled to Mayo but returned on the wrong end of a 4-16 to 3-12 scoreline.

In Division 3A, Tyrone lost out by a single point to Fingal, 2-11 to 0-15, and Monaghan fell to a 21-3 to 0-11 defeat to Louth at Dowdallshill. In the all-Ulster 3A clash at Brewster Park, Fermanagh hosted leaders Donegal who kept their 100% record intact with a 4-14 to 1-20 win.

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