| 7.3°C Belfast

Red card proves crucial as Antrim get over line

London 0-10 Antrim 0-14


Patrick McBride

Patrick McBride

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Patrick McBride

Antrim survived a second-half comeback to record their second win of the season against London in Ruislip.

Patrick Cunningham's accuracy from placed balls and the marauding runs of Dermot McAleese were too much for London to contend with in the first half.

Kicking with the wind in the second period, London captain Liam Gavaghan dragged the hosts back into the contest with five well-taken scores during a hot streak where the Exiles hit six points without reply.

But Eoin Flanagan's dismissal towards the end left Michael Maher's men short of numbers when they needed to step on the gas and the Saffrons were able to close the game out.

London had started brighter, with plenty of possession in the early stages. Buoyed by an improved performance away to Limerick last weekend, the hosts went ahead on the five-minute mark with a deftly-taken free from Ryan Forde after a foul on Sean Hickey.

Antrim were struggling to contend with the blustery conditions but Cunningham's kicking was precise and he levelled things up on 11 minutes.

McAleese was able to break at pace and, after cutting in from the right, he fired the Saffrons ahead just past the 12-minute mark.

Patrick McBride's booming kick extended the lead to two and Antrim were up and running.

McAleese and Colum Duffin combined well on the right and the latter dispatched the ball over the bar with little effort.

Flanagan went into referee James Bermingham's book for a high challenge on Antrim's Peter Healy and that indiscretion would have match-altering consequences when he would see red towards the end of the contest.

Captain Gavaghan got London firing again just past the 40-minute mark after good work by James Hynes and Gavin Watchorn created the opening.

Gavaghan took over the place kicking duties and Thomas Clarke's point after a sweet pass inside from Hynes had the London crowd on their feet.

Further scores from Gavaghan had Antrim rattled until Flanagan's red card for the home side made a difficult task nigh on impossible.

Belfast Telegraph