Down earn draw against Antrim

Antrim 1-15 Down 1-15

Antrim 1-15 Down 1-15

Down substitute Stephen Clarke struck that injury time levelling point that sends the Ulster SHC final to a replay, as the Mourne men earned a 1-15 to 1-15 draw with favourites Antrim at Casement Park.

Down, the Allianz NHL Division 2 champions, reeled off six of the final 10 points of the second half to draw level at the final whistle of Galway referee Michael Haverty.

The Saffrons hit the Belfast ground running with Michael Herron helping himself to a 13th minute goal after early white flags for Paddy Richmond (0-2) and Darren Quinn.

Down got off the mark through former Celtic footballer John Convery and, following an inspirational four points from Gareth Johnson, they earned a 29th minute penalty through the same player.

Johnson was hauled down in the Antrim area at 0-7 to 1-7 down and skipper Martin Coutler made no mistake with the penalty shot.

Antrim corner forward Brian McFall did edge the Saffrons in front at the break with a late free for a 1-8 to 1-7 lead.

They moved into a 1-11 to 1-9 lead before scores from Ger Adair, Andy Savage and Brendan McGourty, goalscorer in New York, drew them back level at 1-13 apiece with little over 10 minutes remaining.

Antrim centre-half forward Colm McGuckian crept over a 30-metre effort to put the Saffrons back in front, but both Simon Wilson and Clarke, replying to a McFall injury time point, earned Down a second chance.

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