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Ulster Minor Championship: Scott turns on style for ruthless Antrim

By Gareth Cauldwell

FERMANAGH 2-08, ANTRIM 5-10: Antrim's ability to score goals proved crucial as they eased through to an Ulster semi-final meeting with Donegal with victory over Fermanagh at Brewster Park yesterday.

 

The Saffrons dominated the first half, scoring three goals as they built up a 3-05 to 0-02 half time advantage, and although Fermanagh battled hard in the second half, the result was never in doubt as Antrim progressed.

The visitors got off to the perfect start as they raided through the heart of the Erne defence for Conor Small to fire low to the net.

And it got even worse for Fermanagh when they lost key defender Cian McManus, who was shown a black card following the goal for blocking an opponent.

Antrim, although wasteful at times, were to control things throughout the first half with Small landing a point before Fermanagh finally got off the mark with a point from Shane Rooney.

Midfielder Ruairi Scott was a prominent figure for Antrim, registering 1-05 over the course of the contest, and he opened his account from a free before Matthew McGrade replied from a free for Fermanagh.

The final 10 minutes of the half saw Antrim pull clear as James McAuley clipped over a point and Small notched his second goal as he palmed to the net after being teed up by the impressive Odhran Eastwood.

In added on time, Scott rattled in a third Antrim goal, again following good work from Eastwood, and when Seamus McGarry converted a free it left 12 points between the sides at the interval.

Antrim were to bag a fourth goal four minutes after half time through McAuley, although Fermanagh did not let their heads drop and had their best spell of the contest.

JJ O'Brien produced a good run and finish to the net while full forward Liam Maguire tapped home from close range as Fermanagh closed to within six, 2-8 to 4-8, with five minutes to go.

Antrim, though, finished strongly with substitute Ben Rice blasting home their fifth goal while Scott and Rice tagged on points to leave 11 points dividing the sides at the conclusion.

Fermanagh: C. Copeland; T. McHugh, S. Mimna, E. Cassidy; R. McCaffrey, C. McManus, D. Leonard; C. McAuley, G. Jones (0-01); S. Rooney (0-03, 1f), G. Fox, R. Kelly; M. McGrade (0-02, 2f), L. Maguire (1-01, 1 '45), JJ O'Brien (1-00). Subs: N. Stewart for Cassidy, O. McGee for McGrade, C. Hoy for Fox, D. Russell for McCaffrey

Black card: C. McManus replaced by P. Hyde

Antrim: A. Hasson; R. Delargy, T. McGowran, P. Mackle; P. McGreevy, P. McParland, C. Mallon; R. Scott (1-05, 1f, 1'45) R. McNulty; J. McAuley (1-02), C. Small (2-01), J. Connolly; S. McGarry (0-01, 1f), B. Corr, O. Eastwood (0-01). Subs: B. Rice (1-01) for McAuley, R. Hannigan for Connolly, C. Eastwood for Mallon, C. Flynn for Corr.

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