Ruthless Antrim flex their muscles in U-21 cup final
Ulster U-21 Hurling Final: Antrim 7-17 Down 1-5
To say that this was a one-sided contest would be to delve into the realms of understatement.
Such was Antrim's technique, pace and finishing power that they operated throughout on a much higher plateau than their beleaguered opponents.
Down's early surge, during which Peter Mason and Eoghan Sands hoisted over points, proved something of a false dawn as Antrim fired back.
They whisked over points through Ryan McCambridge and Ciaran Clarke before registering another brace via Daniel McKernan and the accurate Clarke.
They tightened their grip when substitute Sean McAfee kicked in a 27th minute goal to which Clarke, Jackson McGreevy and Niall McKenna added points for a 1-7 to 0-2 lead at the interval.
It was one-way traffic throughout the second half with substitutes Saul McCaughan (2), Conor Burke (2) and Sean McAfee sharing in a five-goal spree with another coming from Niall McKenna leaving Conal Fitzsimmons to grab Down's consolation goal.
Down: S Savage; M Conlan, R Brannigan, M McCullough; C Taggart, C O'Neill, J McGrath; J McManus, S Mageean; P Mason, B Nicholson, C Egan; L Savage, G O'Neill, E Sands. Subs: C Fitzsimmons (1-1) for Savage (41 mins), D Mallon for Mageean, J Doran for McCullough, A Scott for McManus (all 54 mins). Yellow cards: Egan (26), O'Neill (36).mallon,
Antrim: C Butler; T O Ciarain, P Burke, F Donnelly; J McGreevy (0-1), E Campbell, M Bradley; D McGuinness, M Dudley (0-2); D McCloskey, R McCambridge (0-1), N McKenna (1-2); C Clarke (1-6, 0-2 frees), D McKernan (0-3, 0-1 free), Stephen McAfee. Subs: Sean McAfee (1-0) for McGuinness (23 mins), S McCaughan (2-1)for McCambridge (half-time), C Burke (2-0) for McCloskey (43), E McCaughan (0-1) for Stephen McAfree (49), M Connolly for Bradley (53).
Referee: Alan Nash (Derry).