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McGourty's late free secures first League victory for gutsy Saffrons

Antrim 0-11 Sligo 1-7

Antrim claimed their first win of the National League with a gutsy one-point victory over Sligo in Corrigan Park yesterday.

CJ McGourty scored what proved to be the winning point with two minutes of normal time remaining when he fired over a stunning free from 45 yards out.

There was still time for further drama as Antrim were reduced to 14 men when Ryan Murray picked up his second yellow card for a cynical foul on Sligo's Eoin McHugh while the otherwise outstanding Paddy McBride was shown black card in injury-time.

Mark Breheny had a chance to salvage a point for the visitors but his effort tailed to the left and wide as Antrim hung on to pick up their first points of the campaign

Antrim led 0-3 to 0-2 when Patrick Gallagher's error allowed Niall Murphy through to score what prove to be the game's only goal. The Saffrons responded well and were only two down at the break with McGourty's frees keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

McBride hit a stunning point early in the second half before setting up McGourty for two quick-fire points from play. The second point could have been a goal but for a remarkable save from Aidan Devaney who redirected McGourty's fisted effort over the crossbar.

Substitute Charlie Harrison won a fairly dubious free which Adrian Marren converted to tie the game with five minutes remaining.

A foul on the industrious Conor Murray afforded McGourty the opportunity to restore Antrim's slender lead and the St Gall's clubman made no mistake on 68 minutes.

Antrim's tackling in the closing minutes left a lot to be desired with Ryan Murray and McBride being dismissed but the two points was all that mattered for the home side as Breheny's last-gasp effort missed the target.

Scorers:

Antrim: CJ McGourty 0-8 (0-6fs), P McBride, C Murray, R Murray 0-1 each.

Sligo: N Murphy 1-1 (0-1f), A Marren 0-3 (0-2fs), M Breheny 0-2 (0-1f), K Cawley 0-1.

Belfast Telegraph

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