Classy McManus in­spires Antrim to vic­tory as four see red

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - GAELIC GAMES -

Antrim Car­low

F2-16 0-19 OURTEEN-MAN Antrim main­tained their 100 per cent record in the Joe McDon­agh Cup with a three-point win over 12-man Car­low at Cor­ri­gan Park, Belfast yes­ter­day.

The home side saw Eoghan Camp­bell red-carded on 28 min­utes, while Jack Ka­vanagh, Diar­muid Byrne and Richard Coady were sent to the line in the sec­ond half by Laois ref­eree James O’Brien.

Play­ing with a stiff breeze, Antrim dom­i­nated the early ex­changes. Neil McManus stroked over af­ter just 20 sec­onds with Nigel El­liott con­tin­u­ing his good form min­utes later, rais­ing the first green flag of the game in the third minute.

Camp­bell com­pleted a great Antrim move for point num­ber two, with McManus con­vert­ing a free to make it 1-3 to no score af­ter five min­utes. De­nis Murphy opened the Car­low ac­count on eight min­utes but 10 min­utes later Antrim had stretched their lead to seven points when a su­perb Joe Maskey ef­fort made it 1-6 to 0-2.

John Michael Nolan con­verted a side­line for Car­low, while El­liott replied as the home side re­mained in con­trol. How­ever, a high tackle on Car­low tar­get man James Doyle saw Camp­bell re­ceive the game’s first red card on 28 min­utes. Murphy con­verted the re­sul­tant free be­fore Doyle added his sec­ond of the day.

In the clos­ing stages of the first half, two Murphy points sand­wiched an El­liott score to leave the Saf­frons 1-9 to 0-7 ahead at the break.

By the 53rd minute, Car­low had re­duced the ar­rears to two points, 1-11 to 0-12, but Antrim struck for their sec­ond goal when a driv­ing run by El­liott split the vis­i­tors’ de­fence, and the Dun­loy club­man crossed the slio­tar into the path of McManus who bat­ted home to re­store a five-point gap.

De­spite be­ing down to 12 men, Car­low bat­tled through­out the 11 min­utes of in­jury time, scor­ing five of the last six points to close the gap to two, how­ever an 85th-minute free from Conor John­ston saw out the win for Antrim. SCOR­ERS — Antrim: N McManus 1-8 (7f), N El­liott 1-2, C John­ston 0-2 (1f), J Maskey, E Camp­bell, M Arm­strong, and E McCloskey 0-1 each. Car­low: D Murphy 0-11 (8f), JM Nolan (1s/l), J Doyle, C Nolan and C Fo­ley 0-2 each. Antrim: E El­liott; S Rooney, J Dil­lon, C McKin­ley; J Maskey, P Burke, R McCam­bridge; E Camp­bell, S McCrory; N El­liott, C John­ston, N McManus; D McKin­ley, M Arm­strong, C McCann. Subs: J McNaughton for D McKin­ley (48), E McCloskey for C McCann (50), D Kear­ney for J Maskey (51), C Carson for N McManus (67), N McAu­ley for R McCam­bridge (78), D McCloskey for M Arm­strong (84). Car­low: B Tracey; A Cor­co­ran, P Doyle, M Doyle; R Coady, D English, D Byrne; J Ka­vanagh, K McDon­ald; JM Nolan, P Coady, E Byrne; J Doyle, D Murphy, R Smithers. Subs:

C Nolan for R Smithers (46), D Wall for M Doyle (62), J Murphy for E Byrne (67), C Fo­ley for P Coady (72) Ref­eree: J O’Brien (Laois)

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