03 April 2011
The old adage that goals win games was never more evident than in Sunday’s Allianz National Hurling League Division 2 clash at Ballycran as Antrim found the net five times to see off the stern challenge of Down and keep their faint hopes of promotion alive.
Three from Neill McManus and two from Karl Stewart were the scores which saw the Saffrons home in a bruising encounter in which three players, two from Down and one from Antrim received straight red cards.
Karl Stewart started the ball rolling with a brilliant strike in the seventh minute, McManus added a brilliant second two minutes later and added the third soon afterwards from a penalty after he had been hauled down in the ‘square’ in the fifteenth minute.
Those scores helped Antrim to a 3-4 to 0-5 half-time lead, but Down fought back with some good points early in the second half before Stewart hit goal number four from close range while McManus completed his hat-trick when he soloed through and kicked the ball to the net.
As it turned out all these goals were needed as Down fought back to within five at the end before Simon McCrory sealed the win with a late point.
Antrim: C O'Connell, A Graffin, Kieran McGourty, K Molloy, N McAuley, M Herron, J McCouaig, S McCrory, S McNaughton, P Shiels, K Stewart, E McCloskey, C McGuinness, N McManus, Barry McFall.Subs: S Hawes, M Armstrong, T McCann, J Black, C McFall, M Donnelly, K McKeegan, C Carson, S Shannon, L Kearns, C McCann, D Hamill, C Herron, K McKeague, C Donnelly, PJ O'Connell.