Antrim take under 21 title
July 27, 2006
Joey Scullion fired Antrim to a narrow victory over Down in the Ulster under 21 hurling championship final at Casement Park on Wednesday night, July 26.
Scullion scored 0-8 as the Glensmen edged out a Down team that included five of the senior side that lost to Carlow in last Sunday's Christy Ring Cup semi-final. Expect for a spell in the second half when Antrim opened up a five-point lead, there was never more than a couple of points between the teams.
Impressive corner forward Colm McManus, who scored 2-5 of the losers' tally, shot Down into an early two-point lead, but Paddy McGill and Colin McFall quickly levelled for Antrim. The sides were level on 0-3 apiece at the end of the first quarter, but the home side then made a decisive breakthrough when Shane McNaughton scored the opening goal.
Substitute Damian Lafferty added a second goal in the 28th minute to leave Antrim 2-5 to 1-6 in front at the break.
Scullion took centre stage in the second half by landing 0-7, and he helped Antrim to a 2-10 to 1-8 lead by the 41st minute. McManus' second goal reduced the margin to two points, 2-13 to 2-11, only for Scullion and Colm Duffin to reply for the Glensmen.
Brendan McGourty grabbed a third goal for Down in injury-time, but Antrim held on for a one-point win.
Antrim - R. McGarry; E. O'Neill, J. McKeague, L. McDermott; C. McFall 0-1, N. McAuley, R. McDonnell; S. McCrory, P. McGill 0-1; Joey Scullion 0-8, D. McNaughton, C. Duffin 0-1; S. McNaughton 0-2, J. Meade, B. McDermott 0-2. Subs - D. Laverty 1-1 for D. McNaughton; L. Knocker for McAuley; M. Ward for McGill; P. Chivers for O'Neill; L. Kerins for McDermott.
Down - S. Keith; G. Hughes, P. Hughes, N. Ennis; A. Bell, K. Courtney, C. Braniff; D. Flynn, C. Coulter 0-1; A. McGuinness 0-1, B. McGourty 1-3, N. Courtney; C. McManus 2-5, K. McCarthy 0-1, S. Ennis. Subs - C. McCarthy for Braniff; K. Fegan for K. McCarthy.
Referee - J. Devlin from Tyrone.
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