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Antrim 3-13 Derry 2-8 #UlsterChampions

9th July 2017

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Antrim complete 5-in-a-row as they hold off Derry rally 

Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Hurling Championship Final

Antrim 3-13 Derry 2-8

by John McIlwaine at Owenbeg

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ANTRIM CELEBRATE THEIR WIN OVER DERRY IN THE ULSTER MINOR HURLING FINAL AT OWENBEG

Antrim won the Ulster Minor Hurling title at Owenbeg on Sunday when they withstood a late fightback from the home side to seal a 3-13 victory. Leading by  2-4 to 0-4 at half time the young Saffrons appeared to

Antrim had early chances with Callum Scullion and Deaghlan  Smith firing wide before Richie Mullan put Derry ahead from a forty metre free on three minutes. Séaan Ellioot brought Antrim back on terms a minute later from thirty metres out on the right and they had a great chance to regain the lead on seven minutes when Ed McQuillan was through on goal but Derry keeper Sean Kelly made a sharp save well. The Saffrons did go back in front on nine minutes when centre back Conor Boyd pointed from midfield but two minutes later Derry full forward Tiarnan McHugh won a great ball on the edge of the Antrim square and tied the scores on 2 apiece

Antrim hit the front on fourteen minutes when a long delivery by team captain Conor McHugh was  fumbled by Derry keeper Kelly and Tiarnan Murphy nipped in to force the ball over the line and  they went four clear on nineteen minutes when  Séaan Elliott pointed a twenty metre free after he was fouled when closing down on goal. After another series of missed chances by Antrim which merely added to the growing wide count Derry pulled a point back on twenty three minutes with a superb point from Tim Rankin. Deaghaln Smith appeared to have struck a significant blow for Antrim when he fired the ball to the Derry net, only to see it ruled  out for overcarrying but the Saffron fans didn’t have long to wait as a minute later Cushendall’s Ed  McQuillan fired a low ball to the net to help his team to a 2-4 to 0-4 half time lead.

A Deaghlan Smith point in the opening minute of the second half stretched Antrim’s lead to seven but Derry cut the gap back to six again two minutes later when Richie Mullan  came up to send over a twenty metre free. Ed McQuillan put seven between them again with a point from close range and they had a great chance of going well clear soon afterwards when Tiernan Murphy got onto the end of a long ball by Séaan Elliott but Derry’s Caolite McAlinden did brilliantly to deny him, but the Antrim boys were getting on top and a point from Conor McHugh and three from Tiarnan Murphy had them 2-9 to 0-6 ahead after eight minutes. Declan  Quinn pulled on back for the home side but and  though Murphy added to his tally Derry were back in the game on forty six minutes whemn Richie Mullan  fired a penalty to the Antrim new following a foul on Tiaran McHugh.

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ED MCQUILLAN FIRES IN HIS TEAM’S GAME CLINCHING GOAL

Deaglan Smith settled the Saffrons with two more points, one of which should have been a goal, but as the rain fell harder Derry bounced back with a cracking goal by corner forward Ruairi Rafferty to cut the gap to seven and it was back to six on fifty six minutes when Richie Mullan sent one over from twenty metres and there were a lot of anxious looking faces on the Antrim line when Tiernan McHugh brought the gap down to five. The Oak Leaf boys had chances to close the gap further but the Antrim defence held firm and brilliant individual goal from Ed McQuillan sealed the Saffrons win.

Antrim

Paul McMullan, Manus Smith, Scott Walsh,Phelim Lennon,  Fred  McCurry, Conor Boyd, Ryan McGarry, Michael McGreevy, Conor McHugh, Ed McQuillan,  Callum Scullion, Deaghlan Smith, Tiarnan Murphy, Anton McGrath, Séaan Elliott

Conor McBride for Anton McGrath, Dubaltach Magee-Baker for Manus Smyth, Mark McKavanagh for Lennon

Derry

Sean Kelly, Caolite McAlindenl, Tiarnan Walsh, Ruairi Rafferty, Richie Mullan, Fearghalll Cassidy, Martin Quinn, Tim Rankin, Fintan Bradley, Eoghan O’Kane, Peadar McLaughlin, Declan Quinn, Tiarnan Hugh, Reece McSorley

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Man's of the match Tiarnan Murphy in action against Derry's Caolite McAlinden and Sean Kelly

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