Antrim 1-10 Cork 1-09: A strong last 20 minutes from Cork denied Antrim a shock win in Ballycastle yesterday as the accuracy of Patrick Horgan from frees helped the Rebels run out three point winners.
The Glen Rovers man finished with 11 points, 10 from placed balls, as Jimmy Barry Murphy's side moved clear at the top of 1B.
While Horgan was in top form, at the other end Antrim hit 15 wides – 12 coming in the first half when they were well on top.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Antrim were looking to make a good start against last year's All-Ireland finalists and they did so with Neil McManus pointing a long free.
Antrim began to make their fine performance count as scores from Barry McFall, Conor Carson and Stephen McAfee moved them 0-6 to 0-3 ahead.
But Antrim hit wide after wide with the wind seeming to carry the ball off target on occasion.
Antrim, though, got the goal they deserved when Cork goalkeeper Darren McCarthy batted a McManus shot from range into the path of Matthew Donnelly who flicked home to give the hosts a 1-9 to 0-8 half-time lead.
Horgan gave his side the lead on 61 minutes from a placed ball and repeated the trick shortly after before Conor Lehane pointed to make it a three point game.
Paul Shiels cut the gap to two but Pat Cronin hit the late insurance score.
Antrim finished with 14 men as captain McManus was sent off on a second yellow card in the dying seconds.
ANTRIM: C O'Connell; Ciaran Johnston, C McKinley, O McFadden; N McManus (0-2 frees), N McAuley, E Campbell; B McFall (0-1), D Hamill; C Carson (0-2), S McAfee (0-3, 2 frees), C McCann; Conor Johnston (0-1), M Donnelly (1-1), PJ O'Connell. Subs: S Beatty for C McCann (HT), J McGreevy for B McFall (40), N Elliott for PJ O'Connell (49), P Shiels (0-2, 1 free) for D Hamill (51), D McKernan for J McGreevy (63).
CORK: D McCarthy; S McDonnell, E Keane, A Cadogan; S White, C Joyce, W Egan; L McLoughlin, P Cronin (0-1); B Lawton, S Harnedy, D Kearny; P Horgan (0-11, 9 frees, 1 65), C Lehane (0-4), B Hartnett (0-1). Subs: K Murphy for A Cadogan (HT), C McCarthy for S Harnedy (45), R O'Shea for L McLoughlin (51), P Haughney (0-1) for D Kearny (56), A Cadogan for S White (65).
Referee: Eamonn Hasson (Derry).