Saffrons see red as they pay a heavy price for indiscipline
Antrim made things difficult for themselves in more ways than one when losing to Kerry by 1-21 to 2-16 in Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League at the weekend.
Not only did Neal Peden's side leave themselves a mountain to climb after Nicky McKeague and Keelan Molloy had been sent off, but they added to the pressure they will face going forward in their bid to win promotion.
The early stages of the match proved difficult for the Saffrons. They lost McKeague in the 10th minute and also conceded a goal with Jack Goulding hitting the net for Kerry.
Eoin O'Neill's goal helped to sustain Antrim's challenge and when he landed a second after the interval a home revival appeared to have gathered momentum, particularly as James McNaughton brought his points total to 12.
But the dismissal of Molloy left Antrim to battle with 13 men in the last quarter during which Kerry closed out the game.
There was an early bonus for new Derry boss John McEvoy as he watched his side get the better of Down by 1-16 to 0-14 in Division 2B.
Cormac O'Doherty had laid the groundwork for this Oak Leaf victory by registering six points in the first-half at the end of which the sides were deadlocked at 0-8 each.
Down, though, showed considerable grit and tenacity and with just over seven minutes remaining the teams were level at 0-14 each.
But an Alan Grant goal and a late brace of points eased Derry to a 1-16 to 0-14 win.
While manager McEvoy can feel satisfied with his team's performance, his Down counterpart Ronan Sheehan must now face into a difficult trip to Wicklow next weekend knowing that a win there is essential if his side is to keep their hopes of winning promotion alive.
Tyrone manager Mattie Lennon can take considerable satisfaction from his team's emphatic 2-17 to 0-10 win over Lancashire at Abbotstown in Division 3A.
Bryan McGurk and Damian Casey rifled in first-half goals to give the Red Hands a 2-9 to 0-3 interval lead while Ryan McKernan and Tiernan Morgan were also prominent.
Lennon's men took their foot off the accelerator to some extent after the interval but there was no doubting their overall superiority as Casey complemented his goal with a battery of points from frees and play.