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No denying that my Antrim were outclassed, says boss Harbinson

Antrim 0-14 Kildare 1-25

Big decision: Lenny Harbinson hinted he may consider future
Big decision: Lenny Harbinson hinted he may consider future

By David Mohan

Antrim's interest in this year's All-Ireland Championship was brought to an abrupt halt at a sun-kissed Corrigan Park as Lenny Harbinson's men proved no match for an impressive Kildare.

There were 14 points between the pair, a fair reflection.

"There was a gulf in class," Harbinson admitted. "We were hoping for one of those days where everything went right, but it didn't pan out that way.

"This was a banana skin for them and they took a very professional approach."

Kildare took total control from the 15th minute and a mini-rally before the break just about kept Antrim in touch as they trailed 0-13 to 0-6 at the half.

Saffrons ace Matthew Fitzpatrick hit the first of his three second-half points, but the game was put to bed in the 40th minute when Neil Flynn saw his shot clear the bar, and presented with a similar opportunity he drilled the ball into the top corner.

While Antrim's star man Paddy McBride hit six points from play, Kildare piled on the agony.

"There were guys who went in carrying injuries, which didn't help," added Harbinson, who seemed to suggest he was considering his future. "The occasion may have got to the players - we were flat-footed.

"Whoever is involved with Antrim has to try and find another four or five players from the clubs so that's the big challenge."

ANTRIM: P Nugent; P McCormick, R Johnston, P Gallagher, D Lynch, M Johnston, N Delargy; C Duffin, K Quinn; J McAuley (0-1), M Fitzpatrick (0-3), S Beatty (0-1); R Murray (0-2 frees), P McBride (0-6), C Murray (0-1). Subs: E Walsh for M Johnston (HT), R Scott for S Beatty (HT), R McNulty for K Quinn (49), J Smith for R Murray (53), M McCarry for C Murray (60), F Burke for N Delargy (63).

KILDARE: M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O'Grady (0-1), P Kelly; C O'Donoghue, E Doyle, D Hyland; K Feely (0-2), F Conway (0-2); D Slattery, C Healy, K Cribbin; A Tyrrell (0-7, 4 frees), B McCormack, N Flynn (1-8, 0-3 frees). Subs: T Moolick (0-1) for K Cribbin (HT), M Hyland for D Slattery (43), C Hartley for P Kelly (55), J Gibbons (0-1) for A Tyrrell (57). Black Card: C Healy (13) replaced by J Hyland (0-3).

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)

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