Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Antrim struggle against Galway after bad decision

Big defeat: Paul McKillen's side were competitive early on
Big defeat: Paul McKillen's side were competitive early on

Galway 2-20 Antrim 0-09: A wrongly disallowed goal sent Antrim into freefall after a spirited start in yesterday's All-Ireland MHC quarter-final, the Saffrons eventually losing to Galway by 17 points.

Substitute Conor Patterson was less than four minutes on the pitch, when his first half injury-time effort hit the back of the Galway net, and it looked like Antrim would just be facing a three-point deficit heading into the second half.

However referee David Hughes called for a square ball, and Galway took a 1-9 to 0-6 interval lead.

Subsequently referee assessor Tiernach Mahon confirmed that by rule the goal should have stood, but this will be little consolation to the Saffrons.

Paul McKillen's side were extremely competitive early on, and were tied at 0-4 each after 14 minutes thanks to a quartet of Christy McNaughton scores.

Galway kicked on and led by 1-8 to 0-5 after 29 minutes, despite Antrim goalkeeper Ciaran Butler working very hard to stop a powerful Jarlath Mannion shot.

David Mangan and Caolan McCaughan swapped points, before Antrim looked like rounding off the half with a goal of their own, only for Hughes to say Patterson's shot wasn't a legitimate one.

Antrim were certainly creating their chances in the opening half, but was a totally different story on the restart, as Galway kicked into gear.

It wasn't until 14 minutes after the restart that Antrim bagged their opening score of the second half, with Galway registering six unanswered points in an 11-minute spell after the break and the Tribesmen stretched away to a 1-15 to 0-6 lead.

Antrim had just one scoring chance of note during this period, but McNaughton fired a 65-metre free wide.

Uncharacteristically this would be one of five similar efforts the Ruairi Og Cushendall clubman would fail to convert over the closing 30 minutes.

McNaughton ended his sides second half scoring spell in the 44th minute to break the scoring deadlock, and this really gave the Saffrons confidence up front.

But Galway pushed on, with substitute Jack Grealish adding their second goal, 12 minutes from the end, after combining with Whelan.

The sides equally shared four points each between the 53rd and 60th minutes, with James Connolly and James Carey on target for Antrim, but Galway finished with a brace of Kevin McHugo scores to ensure a 17-point win.

GALWAY: G Loughnane; D Cronin, O Coyle, S Roche; R Doyle, J Holland (0-2, 2f), R Bellew; D Nevin (0-1), R Kilkelly; C Whelan (0-3), D Mangan (0-5), S Linnane; J Mannion (1-0), B Burke (0-4, 3f), C Shaughnessy (0-2). Subs: K McHugo for Whelan (Blood 9-11); K McHugo for Linnane (Blood 29-HT); K McHugo (0-2) for Kilkelly (43); J Grealish (1-0) for Mannion (43); S Whelan for Shaughnessy (52); J Mooney for Mangan (52); A Helebert for Burke (61).

ANTRIM: C Butler; R Rooney, R McNulty, HP McNeill; G Walsh, E Conlon, C McCaughran (0-1); C McMullan, C Walsh; R Irvine, J McNaughton, C McNaughton (0-5, 5f); J McCurdy, J Connolly (0-2), D McLaughlin. Subs: C Patterson for Irvine (28); D Carey for Rooney (39); J Carey (0-1) for McLaughlin (45); J Maskey for McMullan (46); S Garland for McCurdy (54).

Referee: David Hughes (Carlow)

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