Defeat leaves Antrim facing uphill struggle
Louth 2-10 Antrim 1-11
Antrim suffered a narrow two-point defeat to Louth in a grueling affair in Drogheda yesterday as their future in Division Three grows ever more precarious.
Louth looked to have put the game beyond doubt when Ryan Burns won and then converted a penalty midway through the second half to put the hosts five ahead.
However, the Saffrons battled on gamely and they had a couple of chances to salvage a draw with Declan Lynch firing a low shot across the face of goal in injury-time before Jack Dowling punched the last effort of the game over, rather than under the crossbar.
Chances were few and far between in a dire opening 10 minutes with players on both sides repeatedly losing their footing on the slippery surface.
The intensity was increased considerably after the break with Kevin Niblock scoring a brace of points on the restart for the Saffrons. Yet, Louth kept their noses in front with Anthony Williams also forcing a smart save from Chris Kerr early in the half.
A John Bingham point looked to have settled the issue but two quick-fire points from McGourty set up a grandstand finish.
A monster point from midfielder Declan Byrne restored Louth’s four-point advantage.
LOUTH: C Lynch; P Rath, P Reilly, J Bingham 0-1; D Maguire, L Dullaghan, A Williams; T Durnin 0-1, D Byrne 0-1; J Stewart, P Smith 0-1, B Duffy 0-1; R Moore 0-1, E O’Connor 1-2, R Burns 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f, 0-1 45).
Subs: A Reid for Smith (65), J Califf for D Byrne (72).
ANTRIM: C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, P McAleer; P McBride 0-1, D Lynch, P Healy; J Dowling 0-1, S Beatty; C Murray 0-1, R Murray 1-0, K Niblock 0-2; CJ McGourty 0-5 (0-3fs), C Small, M Fitzpatrick.
Subs: P Brannigan for Hamill (6), S Donnelly for R Murray (16), D Nugent for Small (52), J Hannigan for Healy (65), R Scott 0-1 for Fitzpatrick (65mins), O Hamill for McAleer (73m).
Referee: P Faloon (Down).