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Saffrons' unbeaten record intact

Antrim 0-12 - Louth 1-09

By David Mohan

A Tomas McCann free deep into stoppage time rescued a draw for Antrim against Louth at Corrigan Park yesterday. While the result mattered little in the grand scheme of things given both sides had already secured promotion to Division Three for next year, the hosts were hoping to finish their campaign with a perfect record, but had to be happy with remaining undefeated.

The game itself was lacking that bit of bite, but was still fairly entertaining nonetheless with a storming finish that saw Louth grab a goal through Gerard McSorley in the final minute of normal time, but there was still time for Antrim to engineer an equaliser through the boot of McCann.

Louth made the brighter start in this game with Eoin Lafferty kicking them into a fourth minute lead, but Antrim hit back with Michael McCann pointing a free a minute later. Frees from Conall McKeever and Colm Judge put the Wee County back ahead, but Antrim gradually grew into the contest with Brian Neeson splitting the posts.

Neeson raised a few white flags while Robert Curran and Judge converted frees for Louth to leave the sides tied at 0-5 at the half.

After half-time substitute Tomas McCann and McSorley traded points after the break, Antrim really took control, hitting five in a row to move 0-11 to 0-6 clear on 54 minutes, but they did lose Neeson to a black card on 51 minutes while John Carron hobbled off just minutes earlier.

Antrim couldn't close the game out however as they were perhaps guilty of over-elaborating and allowed Louth to hit them on the break.

The visitors continued to eat into the lead to leave them just two adrift with the game entering the closing stages and they then hit the front when McSorley was played in on the left and fired his shot high into the net.

Antrim still had time and were awarded a free three minutes into stoppage time that McCann pointed to rescue a point and preserve their unbeaten record ahead of the final in three weeks.

ANTRIM: R Hanna; R Johnson, S McVeigh, K O'Boyle; P Gallagher, M Johnson, P McAleer; N McKeever (0-1), J Carron; M Sweeney, M McCann (0-3, 1 free), M Armstrong; B Neeson (0-3, 1 free), K Niblock, P Kelly. Subs: N Delargy for P Kelly (35 mins), T McCann (0-4, 3 frees) for M Armstrong (HT), D McAleese (0-1) for P McAleer (HT), C Murray for J Carron (47 mins), P McBride for B Neeson (black card, 51 mins), M Fitzpatrick for P Gallagher (65 mins).

LOUTH: N Gallagher; D O'Finn, D Quigley, J Bingham; A Williams, R Curran (0-1 free), E Lafferty (0-1); D O'Connell, T Durnin; R Moore, C Judge (0-2, both frees), C Bellew; G McSorley (1-1), C McKeever (0-1 free), C Doyle. Subs: J Caiff (0-1 free) for T Durnin (41 mins), R Burns (0-2, 1 free) for C Doyle (41 mins), J Stewart for C Bellew (45 mins), M Rafferty for R Moore (52 mins), C Grimes for D O'Connell (57 mins), D Byrne for A Williams (65 mins).

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