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Antrim have no answer as champions Galway prove their top quality

Antrim 0-8 Galway 2-22

By Tomas McGurk

Antrim crashed out of the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship on Saturday as a rampant Galway eased to an emphatic 20-point win in their quarter-final clash at Kingspan Breffni Park.

The defending All-Ireland champions fielded four of last year's title-winning side and they looked to have the edge over the Saffrons in every sector.

The Tribesmen broke out of the traps at lightning speed and had four points on the board in as many minutes.

Two of those were stunning scores from Jack Canning, a nephew of Galway senior star Joe, and the Portumna ace added a third on seven minutes as the champions threatened to run riot in the early stages.

Antrim finally opened their account on 12 minutes when Diarmaid McShane fired over following a great sideline from Donal McKernan.

Conal Doherty-Cunning and McKernan added further scores as the Saffrons settled into the game but Galway found their points much easier to come by.

Centre-back Cianin Fahy landed a monster point from 70 yards and Evan Niland's fourth point of the half gave Galway a 10-point lead approaching half-time.

Antrim's task then became mission impossible as Galway fired in a goal just before the break, with full-forward Cian Salmon finishing off a good move involving Jack Coyne and Canning.

The Tribesmen, in the mould of true champions, didn't let up in the second-half.

The Saffrons had one clear-cut goal chance but Peter McCallin's effort was superbly saved by Jack Forde, who also denied Doherty-Cunning from the rebound.

Galway had no such misfortune at the other end.

The impressive Niland slotted over a further three frees before slicing through the Antrim defence and firing past Paddy Carlin. Doherty-Cunning landed a quick hat-trick, two from frees, as the game drew to a disappointing conclusion for Ciaran Kearney's side but the winning margin didn't flatter Galway.

ANTRIM: P Carlin; E McQuillan, L Gillan, C Carson; S Magill, C Boyd, E Smyth; D Black, K Molloy (0-1); P McCallin, G Laverty, D McKernan (0-1); D McShane (0-1), C Doherty-Cunning ((0-5, 0-4fs), E O'Neill. Subs: E Laverty for Black (HT), C Kinsella for Magill (37mins), C McDonnell for G Laverty (54mins), S O'Connor for McQuillan (54mins), S Shannon for McKernan (55mins).

GALWAY: J Forde; S Molloy, J Fitzpatrick, R O'Neill; I O'Shea, C Fahy (0-1), P Foley; J Coyne (0-5, 0-1f, 0-1 65), R Malone (0-1); J Canning (0-3), E Niland (1-7, 0-4fs), L Forde; K Cooney (0-1), C Salmon (1-1), R Murphy 0-1). Subs: E Fahy (0-1) for Murphy (39mins), C Caulfield for O'Neill (51mins), M McManus (0-1) for L Forde (51mins), O Connolly for Cooney (54mins), D Mannion for Niland (56mins).

Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Wexford)

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