McGourty on form to crush Carlow
Antrim sit proudly on top of Division 4 of the National Football League after Liam Bradley's men blew away the feeble challenge of Carlow at Dr. Cullen Park.
Saffrons full forward Mark Dougan had a field day and did most to undermine the home side’s challenge, scoring 3-1 from play, while right full forward CJ McGourty was also on fire, the Naomh Gall clubman hitting 1-4.
The influential Tomas McCann opened the scoring within half a minute of the throw-in with a point which was quickly followed by points from McGourty and James Loughrey before Dougan scored the first of his goals on five minutes, finishing off a splendid four man move.
Essentially the game was decided by the 20th minute. At that stage Antrim led 2-6 to one point and were totally outclassing a lethargic home side.
Antrim were very assured in their outfield play, and were deadly accurate in picking off their scores.
Carlow gained some sort of a foothold in the game to trail 3-7 to 0-8 at half-time, the third Antrim goal coming from Dougan, the Ciceam Creagan clubman, on 27 minutes.
There was an early exchange of second-half goals between Antrim’s Dougan and Carlow midfielder John Murphy who hammered home a 45th minute penalty.
The Antrim domination was never seriously threatened and Carlow’s tale of woe was complete when centre forward Derek Hayden was issued with a straight red card four minutes after the restart following off-the-ball incident. Hayden had been one of Carlow’s better performers on the day.
Antrim’s intensity dropped a little in the second-half, but they always maintained a strong grip on proceedings and their 12 point victory sends them to the top of Division 4 of the NFL, displacing Sligo on scoring difference.
Antrim left half back Justin Crozier went upfield to join in the score fest. Crozier and the other flanker Tony Scullion were marauding wing backs all through.
Carlow were awarded a late penalty for a foot block on the impressive Mark Carpenter but Antrim goalkeeper Sean McGreevy guessed right and made a superb save from Murphy’s second penalty of the game.