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Saffrons promotion now in doubt after crushing defeat

Wicklow 7-11 Antrim 0-7

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Antrim's promotion fate is now out of their hands after suffering a crushing 25-point defeat at the hands of Wicklow at Aughrim on Saturday afternoon. (stock photo)

Antrim's promotion fate is now out of their hands after suffering a crushing 25-point defeat at the hands of Wicklow at Aughrim on Saturday afternoon. (stock photo)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Antrim's promotion fate is now out of their hands after suffering a crushing 25-point defeat at the hands of Wicklow at Aughrim on Saturday afternoon. (stock photo)

Antrim's promotion fate is now out of their hands after suffering a crushing 25-point defeat at the hands of Wicklow at Aughrim on Saturday afternoon.

The Saffrons were second in the table coming into the game and two wins in the last two outings would have been enough for Lenny Harbinson's side, but they were totally outclassed by Wicklow, who are now firmly in the promotion race themselves.

Antrim actually took the lead on three minutes when Kevin Quinn split the posts following good work from Paddy McBride and Dermot McAleese. But it would prove to be their one and only score of the half and Wicklow levelled when midfielder O'Toole fired over.

The goals then came flooding in for the home side as they took control.

Their first arrived from a penalty when referee Johnny Hickey ruled goalkeeper Oisin Kerr had tripped David Devereux and Seanie Furlong drilled the ball past Kerr to give his side a 1-1 to 0-1 lead on 10 minutes.

Padraig O'Toole and Conor Byrne added further goals and things went from bad to worse for Antrim when Colum Duffin was sin-binned for a third-man challenge - although Wicklow also lost centre-back Niall Donnelly moments before the break.

Trailing 3-5 to 0-1, Antrim badly needed goals in the second half, but Conor Murray couldn't direct his palmed effort into the net while Paddy McBride smashed a shot off the crossbar.

Wicklow took full advantage of the misses and Furlong scored their fourth goal and after McBride and substitute Paddy Cunningham landed points for Antrim he unselfishly set up Pat Burke for the fifth.

Late goals from Darcy and Gearóid Murphy compounded Antrim's woes who saw saw skipper Declar Lynch shown black card five minutes from time.

Wicklow scorers: S Furlong (2-1, 1-0pen, 0-1f), E Darcy (1-2, 0-1f), C Byrne (1-1), P O'Toole (1-1), P Burke (1-0), G Murphy (1-0), R Finn (0-2), P O'Keane (0-1), D Healy (0-1), M Kenny (0-1), M Jackson (0-1, 0-1f).

Antrim scorers: P McBride (0-2), T McCann (0-2, 0-1f), K Quinn (0-1), D McAleese (0-1), P Cunningham (0-1).

Belfast Telegraph


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