Antrim win Ulster hurling title

Antrim 3-16, Down 1-18

Antrim 3-16, Down 1-18

Antrim regained the Guinness Ulster Senior Hurling title at Casement Park after fighting off a late Down comeback that produced 1-6 in the last 18 minutes but it was too little too late for the Mournemen as Antrim deservedly took the honours on a 3-16 to 1-18 scoreline.

Playing with confidence and total commitment during the first half, the winners showed that they fully intended to win back the title they haven't held for the past three years.

At half-time they led by 1-9 to 0-7 with Greg O'Kane getting the Antrim goal in the 10th minute.

The Saffrons all but made the issue safe midway through the second half with goals in the 41st and 44th minutes from Conor McCambridge and Colm McGuckian to give Antrim a 3-11 to 0-19 lead.

They were 3-14 to 0-11 ahead when Down staged their comeback bid and the winners' defence had to soak up much pressure before the end.

Two super saves by 'keeper Damian Quiin in the closing stages helped Antrim to their four points win.

ANTRIM - D Quinn; M Kettle, K Kelly, E McCloskey; K McKeegan, R Donnelly, C Herron; C Cunning, C Connolly (0-1); L Watson (0-9), C McGuckian (1-0), L Richmond (0-2); A Delargy, G O'Kane (1-2), C McCambridge (1-0). Su bs: B McFall (0-1) for Delargy (16 mins); M McCambridge for McCloskey (34 mins); S Delargy (0-1) for McFall (53 mins); P R$ichmond for Cunning (59 mins); C Hamill for Donnelly (68 mins).

DOWN - G Clarke; S Wilson, S Murray, L Clarke; G Clarke, G Savage, T Coulter; T McMahon, P Monan; G McGrattan (0-6), M Braniff (0-2), J Trainor; J McGrattan, P Braniff (0-6); N Sands. Subs: P Coulter (1-2) for McMahon (28 mins); G Adair for J Trainor (44 mins); G Gtordeon (0-1) for P Braniff (53 mins); E Trainor (0-1) for M Braniff (53 mins); Blood Sub: M Pucci for T Coulter (72 mins).

REFEREE - M Wadding (Waterford).

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