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Ambitious Antrim have the wind in their sails

Antrim 2-21 Limerick 1-12

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Colm Duffin

Colm Duffin

�INPHO/Declan Roughan

Colm Duffin

Antrim produced a stunning second-half display to keep their promotion hopes on track with a huge win over table-toppers Limerick at Portglenone.

The Saffrons used the wind advantage in the second period to great effect as they overturned a two-point deficit at the break to dominate and run away with a huge win that moves them up to second in Division Four.

The visitors had arrived with a 100% record and knew a win would leave them on the brink of promotion, but they were outgunned by a rampant Antrim side.

After an early exchange of points, the Shannonsiders found the net on seven minutes when Danny Neville's blocked shot broke to Padraig Scanlon who fired in.

The hosts were undaunted and quickly reeled Limerick back in with points from Conor Murray and Colm Duffin (two) as they got to grips with playing into the teeth of the wind.

Limerick always had an answer in the opening period and while the sides were level on five occasions, they never trailed with Padraig De Brun kicking excellent scores, while Tommy Griffin, Tommie Childs, Cillian Fahy and Tony McCarthy chipped in.

At the other end, Paddy McBride began to find his range with Odhran Eastwood also registering to leave Antrim one behind before Hugh Bourke kicked a free with the last act of the opening period to send Limerick in leading 1-9 to 0-10.

After a quick exchange of points to begin the second half, Antrim completely took over as McBride kicked a point and then squared the ball for Eastwood to palm to the net on 40 minutes.

Conor Murray, Eastwood and Dermott McAleese would add points with Limerick's sole reply coming from the boot of Scanlon before Antrim were in for a second goal on 55 minutes.

Duffin sent a long ball into Conor Small who played in Eastwood for the Naomh Éanna man to score his second of the game.

There was no let-up as Paddy Cunningham came on to score three points, while McBride continued to add to his personal tally.

Seamus O'Carroll did fist over at the other end in stoppage time, but this was a mere consolation for Limerick, who despite this defeat still lead the way in Division Four, while Antrim have now joined them in the promotion places.

Antrim scorers: Eastwood 2-3, McBride 0-7 (2 frees), Murray 0-3, Cunningham 0-3, Duffin 0-2, Healy 0-1, Gallagher 0-1, McAleese 0-1

Limerick scorers: Scanlon 1-2, De Brun 0-3, Bourke 0-2 (1 free), McCarthy 0-1, Griffin 0-1, Childs 0-1, Fahy 0-1, O'Carroll 0-1.

Belfast Telegraph