Antrim's high hopes of promotion from Division 4 in the Alliance National Football League were left in tatters at Casement Park yesterday as the Saffrons slumped to a humiliating 1-8 to 0-8 defeat by Waterford.
Antrim were playing for promotion, Waterford were playing just for prestige, but showed a greater degree of determination and flair that swept them to an unexpected victory and left the home team's dreams in ashes.
"There is no getting away from the fact that we are bitterly disappointed. We were outplayed all over the field. We made an awful lot of basic errors," agreed manager Jody Gormley.
It was not a game that will live long in the memory. Mistakes were plentiful, but it was the extra flair and determination of Waterford that carried the day, giving the 11/2 outsiders a rare win.
The teams were level three times during the opening period with Paddy Cunningham giving Antrim a 0-5 to 0-4 lead seconds before the short whistle.
With the wind slightly in favour of the home side in the second half it was felt that the promotion chasers would come good but not so. They scored only one point in the first 36 minutes of the second period as Waterford ran in 1-4 to take control.
The goal was rifled home in the 51st minute by corner-back Maurice O'Gorman and although the visitors failed to raise a flag in the closing 16 minutes, the game was up for Antrim.
They did hit two late points through Eoin O'Neill and Ciarán Close, but it was not enough.
And powerful defender Tony Scullion was sent off in the 50th minute for a second yellow card offence, but by that time the writing was on the wall for Antrim.