Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Antrim let promotion challenge fade away

Paddy Cunningham got Antrim off to a flyer
Paddy Cunningham got Antrim off to a flyer

Carlow 3-15 Antrim 2-17: Antrim's promotion hopes ended in dramatic fashion at Dr Cullen Park in Carlow yesterday as the visitors squandered a six-point lead to let Carlow earn victory with the last kick of the game.

Antrim got off to a perfect start when Paddy Cunningham bustled his way through the porous Carlow defence and drilled in a low shot inside three minutes.

Michael Pollock added a further score before Paul Broderick boomed over a free for Carlow.

Antrim seemed to gain control of proceedings in the middle of the first half when they rattled off five points from play, with CJ McGourty (two), Michael McCann (two) and Conor Murray all on target, but, in a rare attack, Carlow stunned the visitors with a goal.

The closing stages of the half saw the sides exchange scores.

Antrim got off to a fantastic start to the second half when Conor Murray fired to the net.

Carlow's luck changed when two defenders collided and the referee awarded a free.

From this piece of fortune came another as Hughie Gahan shot for goal, only to see his effort get deflected into the Antrim net.

Antrim responded with two Pollock scores and a McGourty free.

Carlow sprang to life and scores from Darragh Foley and a Broderick brace left a goal in it. They launched another attack, which ended with Kinsella netting.

It was all level when Carlow's Murtagh Ware found himself in on goal. His effort was saved by Kerr but from the resulting '45 Broderick had the final say.

CARLOW: A O'Brien, M Curry (K Nolan, 48 mins) S Redmond, R Mahon, H Gahan 1-0, D Bambrick, B Kavanagh, M Ware, D Foley, 0-1 P Broderick 0-11, D St Ledger (M Meaney), C Moran (S McGrath 55 mins), C Coughlan, W Minchin 0-1 (G Dempsey 55 mins), S Kinsella 2-3

ANTRIM: C Kerr, M McAleese (D McAleese 68 mins), M Johnston, N Delargy, T Scullion, J Crozier, J Laverty 0-1, M McCann 0-3, B Hasson, C Murray 1-1, M Sweeney, P Maguire (P Kelly 53 mins), CJ McGourty 0-8, P Cunningham 1-0 (K Niblock 35 mins, black card, replaced by R Murray 36 mins), M Pollock 0-4 (B Neeson 60 mins)

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).

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