Antrim hurlers left frustrated
Antrim 1-09 Clare 0-13
Clare hurlers were a mighty relieved bunch leaving Casement Park yesterday as they kept their place at the top of the Allianz NHL Division Two table.
The Banner boys deserved their win because they were sharper than the opposition and they snapped up their chances.
The visitors saw Fergal Lynch red-carded in the 52nd minute but they made up for their short-handedness with good running off the ball and neat passing movements.
The Saffrons got off to a great start when their best attacker Neil McManus rocketed a penalty to the Clare net in the second minute. The scores were level in the 13th, 17th and 27th minutes but Clare moved 0-9 to 1-3 ahead after 33 minutes before two late points by McManus left Antrim trailing by the minimum (0-9 to 1-5) at the break. Two points apiece were hit over in the opening quarter hour of the second half but over the next 13 minutes Sean Collins and free-taker Colin Ryan left Clare 0-13 to 1-7 up.
Paul Shiels and Colm McFall brought Antrim back to just one point adrift but the Saffrons couldn't muster another score and the winners' defence stood solid.