Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport GAA Antrim

Last-gasp Dublin winner breaks Antrim hearts

Antrim 0-22 Dublin 0-23

Antrim's Neil McManus
Antrim's Neil McManus

By David Mohan

A Donal Burke free with the last puck of the ball snatched a last-gasp win for Dublin over battling Antrim at Corrigan Park

The hosts fought back from seven down in the second period and thought they had recued a point when Neil McManus hit his 16th-point of the afternoon deep into added time from a free, but the Dubs launched one last attack, winning a free that Burke converted to claim the points.

After Burke gave Dublin the lead 13 seconds in, Antrim took charge for the early stages with McManus knocking over four frees as shooting let the visitors down.

Dublin rallied with three of the next four scores through Fergal Whitely, Burke and Paul Ryan as they began to get the measure of the hosts. Antrim were still keeping pace with McManus doing all of their scoring as he landed all eight of their first half scores - six from frees - as Dublin started to exert their influence.

Their spread of scores was greater although it was a Ryan free that gave them their first lead on 21 minutes after some fine scores from James Madden and Donal Burke.

A McManus double restored the Antrim advantage, but the Dubs were to take over in the final 10 minutes of the half, hitting seven without reply to take a 0-14 to 0-8 lead into the break.

It was eight in a row straight after the break as Ryan tapped over a free, but Antrim found an answer as they began to work their way into the game

Arron Graffin fired over a great point with McManus (2) and Gerard Walsh adding scores to narrow the gap to three, but Dublin reeled off four without reply as Burke, Ryan, Whitely and Cian McBride raised flags.

Antrim were hanging in and in the final quarter they started to chip away at the lead with McManus leading the charge from placed balls while James McNaughton hit two magnificent points and Graffin another.

Liam Rushe was introduced for Pat Gilroy's men, replacing Paul Ryan with Donal Burke taking over the free-taking duties and he kept the scoreboard ticking over for Dublin who led by three with as many minutes to play.

The hosts refused to panic and McManus hit points from a free and a 65 to leave the minimum between the teams as the game entered added time and when he nailed a free from inside his own 65 as the clocked ticked onto 74 minutes, he looked to have sealed a draw.

However, there was still time for one more play and Ryan McCambridge was penalised for a foul on Rushe with Burke stepping up to split the posts from 65 out to snatch the win.

ANTRIM: C O'Connell; P Burke, J Dillon, A Graffin (0-2); J Maskey, M Donnelly, D Kearney; G Walsh (0-1), C McKinley; J Connolly, N McManus (0-16, 11 frees, 2 65s), N Elliott; D McKinley, C McCann, C Johnston. Subs: C Carson for J Connolly (8 mins), N McAuley for J Maskey (43 mins), J McNaughton (0-2) for G Walsh (44 mins), R McCambridge for C McCann (53 mins), D McCloskey (0-1) for N Elliott (63 mins).

DUBLIN: A Nolan; P Smyth, B O'Carroll, E O'Donnell; S Barrett, C Crummey, J Madden (0-1); C McBride (0-2), T Connolly; D Burk (0-7, 4 frees), F Whitely (0-2), D Sutcliffe (0-1); C Keaney (0-2), E Dillon, P Ryan (0-8, 6 frees). Subs: L Rushe for P Ryan (51 mins), J McCafrey for C McBride (53 mins), N McMorrow for T Connolly (64 mins), P Winters for E Dillon (68 mins)

Referee Justin Heffernan (Wexford)

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph