After the mauling they got from Limerick last weekend, the Antrim senior hurlers were out to redeem themselves yesterday at Casement Park in the Ulster SHC final.
In hammering Derry, they did that but there is a chasm between the standards of Limerick and Derry and the Saffrons will not get carried away with their 18-point win.
However the Oak Leaf men didn’t have the firepower up front to seriously trouble the home side. Had it not been for four super saves by Derry keeper Darrel McDermott, the margin would have been much, much greater.
Antrim were taking no chances and led by 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
Derry made a brave effort, on the resumption, to turn the tide but the Oak Leaf men didn’t have the wherewithal to get enough scores to trouble Antrim.
“The score flattered us a wee bit,” claimed Antrim captain Damian Quinn.
“Derry had a couple of men sent off towards the end but the game was well over at that stage, anyhow.
“Our boys were hurting from last weekend. Limerick came at us and got a few goals. That knocked the heart out of us a bit. Limerick is a hard place to get a result, anyhow. Things didn’t work out in the build-up but, thankfully, things did work out for us today.”
Scorers for Antrim: L Watson 0-6 (5fs, 1 65), S McNaughton, E McCloskey 1-2 each, C Carson 1-1, M Herron, B McAuley, N McManus 0-2 each, C McCann 0-1.
Scorers for Down: P Henry (f) 0-2, M Craig, R McCloskey, P McCloskey, K Hannify, P Kelly (65), R Convery (f), A Grant (f) 0-1 each.
ANTRIM: D Quinn; James Campbell, N McGarry, A Graffin; M Herron, N McAuley, Johnny Campbell, B McAuley, S McNaughton; E McCloskey, C Carson, P Shiels; L Watson, N McManus, B McFall.
Subs: C McCann for Sheils (56), J Scullion for Watson (64), C Rea for B McAuley (64), D Hamill for McFall (68), C McFall for Carson (68).
DERRY: D McDermott; S McCullagh, C Quinn, M Warnock; R McCloskey, L Hinphey, M Craig; O McCloskey, P Kelly; A Grant, P McCloskey, K Hinphey; C McKaigue, R Convery, P Henry.
Subs: C McSorley for Quinn (21), S McGuigan for Henry (49), C Gilmore for R McCloskey (49), S Farren for P McCloskey (58), J McCloskey for P Kelly (58).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).
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