« on: February 28, 2017, 09:56:29 AM »
Yesterdays Irish News ICYMI
Allianz Football League Division Three: Antrim 0-11 Sligo 1-7
ANTRIM claimed their first win of the Allianz Football League with a gutsy one-point victory over Sligo in Corrigan Park yesterday.
CJ McGourty scored what proved to be the winning point with two minutes left when he fired over a stunning free from 45 yards out.
There was still time for further drama as Antrim were reduced to 14 men when Ryan Murray picked up his second yellow card for a cynical foul on Sligo’s Eoin McHugh, while the outstanding Paddy McBride was shown black card in injury-time.
Mark Brehony had a chance to salvage a point for the visitors but his effort tailed wide as Antrim hung on to, much to the relief of joint manager Gearoid Adams
“There was a bit of pride in our play today,” said Adams.
“We started off slow in the first half, maybe we showed a lack of self belief.
“I thought, in the second half, that performance was as good as anything. It was down to the wire and we held on. The last point from CJ was
an absolute cracker to win the game and we deserved it too.”
McGourty’s second free of the afternoon gave Antrim a 0-3 to 0-2 lead on 16 minutes, but it was short-lived as Sligo struck for the game’s only goal moments later.
A dangerous ball into the Antrim full-back line looked to be dealt with by Patrick Gallagher but the ball slipped through his hands and
fell kindly for Sligo
corner-forward Niall Murphy, who beat Chris Kerr with a well-taken shot into the bottom corner.
Further points from Murphy and Adrian Marren saw the Yeatsmen gain the upper hand.
Conor Murray broke Sligo’s momentum with a much-needed score for the Saffrons but Niall Carew’s men should have plundered their second goal when Kyle Cawley was played through by Neil Ewing but his blasted his shot over the crossbar with just Kerr to beat.
Stephen Beatty forced a fine save from Aidan Devaney at the other end of the pitch and two further frees from McGourty left Antrim trailing by two at the break.
McBride made light of the windy conditions when he scored an outrageous point from the sideline before Brehony hit back instantly for Sligo.
McGourty’s fifth free cut the gap to a point before McBride’s fine pass found the St Gall’s ace unmarked on 45 minutes to clip over the equalising point.
The same pair linked up once more a minute later as McGourty punch the ball towards goal only to see Devaney push the ball over the crossbar.
Still, Antrim had the lead once more and Sligo appeared rattled. However, the Saffrons couldn’t push on and a series of missed chances kept Sligo in the game.
Substitute Charlie Harrison won a fairly dubious free which Marren converted to tie the game with five minutes remaining.
A foul on the industrious Conor Murray afforded McGourty the opportunity to restore Antrim’s slender lead and he made no mistake on 68 minutes.
Antrim’s tackling in the closing minutes left a lot to be desired with Ryan Murray and McBride being dismissed but the two points was all that mattered for the home side as Brehony’s last-gasp effort missed the target.
Antrim: C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, P McAleer; P McBride 0-1, R McCann, P Healy; J Dowling, S Beatty; C Murray (0-1), R Murray (0-1), D Lynch; CJ McGourty (0-8, 0-6 frees), C Small, M Fitzpatrick.
Subs: S Donnelly for McCann (30), S McGarry for Small (64).
Black card: McBride (71) replaced by B Bradley
Yellow cards: Dowling (30), R Murray (63, 70), C Murray (73).
Red card: R Murray (70).