Connect With Dublin GAA

Visit DubsTV
County News
Senior Hurlers Edge Past Antrim In Allianz League Tie

Senior Hurlers Edge Past Antrim In Allianz League Tie

Mon, 12th February 2024

Image courtesy John Kirwan 

DUBLIN 1-20 

ANTRIM 1-19 

A late Cian O’Sullivan goal proved pivotal as Dublin edged Antrim by the narrowest of margins in their Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B encounter at Corrigan Park in Belfast on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts were holding onto a slim but precious lead in the dying stages but Seán Gallagher’s lengthy delivery deceived Tiernan Smyth in the Antrim goal as it was bundled over the line by O’Sullivan for the game’s key score.

The Dubs enjoyed a narrow two-point interval lead with their early control on the scoreboard nullified by an excellent Conal Cunning goal in the 25th minute.

However, Antrim impressed after the break and looked set for victory prior to O’Sullivan’s late, scrappy and decisive contribution.

Following the disappointment of their defeat to Tipperary eight days previously, Dublin were seeking a bright start and they duly delivered through early points by Colin Currie (free) and Paul Crummey.

A fine Conor Donohue score pushed the visitors three points clear in as many minutes before the hosts opened their own account through a 5th minute free by Cunning.

Diarmuid Ó Dúlaing chipped in with an excellent score to restore Dublin’s three-point advantage and while Cunning added two further frees as the contest evolved, the visitors remained on the front foot following points by Conor Burke and Fergal Whitely.

Niall McKenna added Antrim’s first score from play in the 11th minute and both Paddy Burke and Cunning followed suit to leave the teams deadlocked at 0-7 apiece by the end of the first quarter.

Dublin restored a degree of control from that point as Brian Hayes added two scores from play, the second a superb effort after a trademark run from deep, while Ronán Smith also chipped in with a point to leave three points between the sides by the 25th minute.

However, that lead was negated in an instant as Cunning found space behind the left-hand side of the away defence with his arrowed low finish from twelve yards proving too much for Sean Brennan in the Dublin goal.

Cunning edged Antrim in front for the first time in the 27th minute but Dublin finished the half as they started it with three unanswered points from O’Sullivan, Sean Currie and Colin Currie moving them 0-13 to 1-8 ahead by the interval.

Burke’s second point of the day, within a minute of the resumption, inched Dublin further ahead but the hosts reeled off three successive points of their own with a Cunning brace sandwiched by a Scott Walsh effort.

The hosts, almost inevitably through Cunning, could well have added a second goal in the 46th minute but Brennan acrobatically repelled his powerful effort with Cunning gaining some consolation as he converted the resultant ‘65’.

A Cian O’Sullivan free restored parity by the 50th minute but it wasn’t long before Antrim restored their narrow lead, this time through Eoghan Campbell.

Their margin was enhanced as Walsh and Rian McMullan also split the uprights as the contest seemed to be slipping away from the Dubs but they regrouped well with Whitely and Kilmacud Crokes clubmate Hayes landing well-taken and crucial scores.

The teams could not be separated once again by the 58th minute as O’Sullivan popped over prior to Fred McCurry replying for Antrim as neither side seemed capable of enjoying prolonged periods of dominance.

Two frees from O’Sullivan saw the teams back on level terms by the 68th minute with Cunning’s riposte soon after looking likely to see Antrim record a noteworthy success.

However, there was to be one final sting in the tail thanks to O’Sullivan with Dublin’s focus turning immediately to their clash with All-Ireland champions Limerick in Croke Park on Saturday week.

Scorers – Dublin: C O’Sullivan 1-5 (0-3f), C Currie (3f), B Hayes 0-3 each, F Whitely, C Burke 0-2 each, P Crummey, C Donohoe, D Ó Dúlaing, R Smith, S Currie 0-1 apiece. Antrim: C Cunning 1-10 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘65’), S Walsh 0-2, N McKenna, P Burke, E Campbell, R McMullan, F McCurry, J McLaughlin, A Bradley 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: S Brennan; R Smith, P Smyth, J Bellew; D Power, C Donohoe, D Gray; C Burke, B Hayes; F Whitely, C Currie, S Currie; D Ó Dúlaing, C O’Sullivan, P Crummey. Subs: S Gallagher for Power (44), D Purcell for C Currie (44), L Murphy for Ó Dúlaing (51), J Malone for Crummey (66).

Antrim: T Smyth; S Rooney, R McCloskey, P Burke; C Boyd, R McGarry, S Walsh; E Campbell, N O’Connor; R McMullan, A O’Brien, A Bradley; C Cunning, J McLaughlin, F McCurry. Subs: R McAteer for McMullan (61), P Duffin for Rooney (64), A Bradley for McLaughlin (68), C McGarry for O’Brien (72).

Referee: Caymon Flynn (Westmeath).  

Share This With Your Friends

Add To Facebook Share On Twitter