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Derry 1-13 Antrim 1-13

By Damien Kelly

A terrific second half comeback from Derry earned a draw in what turned out to be a decent contest with Antrim.

The Saffrons had the better of the opening half but, lifted by the introductions of Patsy Bradley, Gerard O'Kane and goalscorer Danny Heavron, the Oak Leafers fought back to earn a share of the spoils. But both teams are out.

Derry started brightly and found themselves 0-5 to 0-2 ahead at the end of the first quarter.

An early Ryan Bell free was followed quickly by a score from Mark Lynch that could have been a goal, but he blazed his shot way over when one on one with Chris Kerr.

Sean McVeigh replied at the other end but scores from Charlie Kielt, Cóilín Devlin and Enda Lynn were countered only by Michael McCann.

That was where Antrim took over for the rest of the half.

The Saffrons’ direct early ball to Michael Herron in particular started to pay dividends.

Scores from McCann and Paddy Cunningham (free) were followed by a palmed goal by James Laverty after Charlie Kielt had given the ball away.

Antrim ended the half with further scores from Ryan Murray and Cunningham to lead by 1-7 to 0-5.

They continued where they had left off through McCann, Brendan Herron and McVeigh.

But Derry slowly turned the screw as they fought back at midfield, with five points on the bounce leaving it 1-10 to 0-10 with 15 minutes to play.

Antrim went three up again before Heavron slipped in behind and coolly finished past Kerr.

Enda Lynn and substitute O'Kane both landed equalisers to reply to John Carron's score in between.

Tempers flared towards the end of a hard-fought encounter as the two sides squared up several times and had to be pulled apart at the final whistle.

Derry: K Farren; R Ferris, D McBride, C McWilliams; C Kielt (0-1), M Lynch (0-2), K Johnston; J McCamley, PJ McCloskey; B McGoldrick, R Bell (0-3f), E Lynn (0-2); C Devlin (0-1), L Kennedy, J Kielt (0-2f).

Subs: Patsy Bradley for McCamley (HT), SL McGoldrick for Johnston (HT), G O'Kane (0-1) for C Kielt (49), D Heavron (1-1) for B McGoldrick (44), R Wilkinson for Kennedy (59).

Antrim: C Kerr; K O'Boyle, P Doherty, N Delargey; T Scullion, J Crozier, J Laverty (1-0); J Carron (0-1), S McVeigh (0-2); C Murray, P Cunningham (0-3, 0-2f), B Herron; R Murray (0-3), M McCann (0-2), M Herron (0-1)

Subs: K Niblock for M Herron (49), C Kelly for Niblock (55), M Pollock for R Murray (61), C Fleming for Cunningham (62).

Referee: S McLaughlin (Donegal).

Belfast Telegraph


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