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Dublin Blow Away Antrim

May 11th, 2024

Dublin 3-32 Antrim 1-18

By Paul Keane at Parnell Park

Antrim defeated by 20 points and Dublin top of the Leinster SHC table with two games to go – things couldn’t be going much better right now for Micheal Donoghue and his Sky Blues crew.

Truth be told, leading by just four points after 40 minutes, and taking on water, it didn’t look like things would turn out quite as rosy for the hosts as they did at Parnell Park.

But the 2013 provincial winners suddenly hit the afterburners and cruised past an overwhelmed Antrim in the closing half hour or so to win by the surprisingly large margin.

Paul Crummey’s goal in the opening minute laid the platform for the big win while Brian Hayes and Donal Burke, who hit 1-11 overall, added second-half goals.

There were impressive cameos from Sean Currie and Conor Burke who shared 10 points between them while substitute Ronan Hayes set up both second-half goals.

Having taken five points from a possible six so far in Leinster, the standard will now rise for Dublin who will host Kilkenny next weekend before taking on Galway in Round 5.

As for Antrim, it’s another heavy defeat having also been hammered by Kilkenny, but their surprise win over Wexford in Round Two gives them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation.

Dublin approached the game unbeaten, following a draw with Wexford and a five-point win over Carlow, but all the momentum seemed to be with Antrim.

Darren Gleeson’s side recorded the upset of the Championship so far when they defeated Wexford in Round Two, a result that followed their 32-point loss in Kilkenny.

But all the wind was sucked from Antrim’s sails after just nine seconds here as Conor Burke’s attempt for a Dublin point dropped short and was redirected to the net by Crummey.

John Bellew came up from defence to add a point for Dublin and suddenly it was as if Antrim had been saddled by a four-point handicap.

From that difficult position, they must have been happy enough to go in just six points behind at half-time.

Dublin, who needed a fortunate late goal to beat Antrim in the league, hinted throughout the opening quarter that a rout could even be on the cards.

They led 1-7 to 0-2 after 21 minutes and were entirely on top. With the wind behind them they should have been further ahead than eight points at that stage.

Crummey was winning plenty of ball up front and set up Cian O’Sullivan for a score while Donal Burke drilled over three early points from frees and Danny Sutcliffe sniped a score too.

But wides – Dublin struck seven in the first-half – and butchered goal opportunities – O’Sullivan shot straight at the goalkeeper in the 16th minute and Sean Currie fired wide three minutes later – cost Dublin.

Leading by 1-10 to 0-3 after 23 minutes, their wasteful play came back to haunt them as Antrim redoubled their efforts and picked off 1-4 in the remaining minutes of the half.

James McNaughton, a powerful runner in the Antrim attack, was at the hub of the recovery with 1-2 in that period, including a well taken 28th minute goal when he was fed on the right by Nigel Elliott.

Dublin, with former captain Eoghan O’Donnell wearing number seven but operating in his more accustomed full-back, marking Conal Cunning, led by 1-13 to 1-7 at half-time.

Keelan Molloy, who didn’t feature for Antrim in the league after a late return to duty, nailed a point after a trademark solo run seconds into the second-half. Nigel Elliott clawed back another and now it was a four-point game, 1-13 to 1-9.

Conal Cunning had a decent opportunity to make it a three-point game from a placed ball but dropped it short and that, it turned out, was that from an Antrim perspective.

Dublin outscored Antrim by 2-18 to 0-8 from there on to win at their ease for a finish.

Ronan Hayes had a big impact as a sub, playing a clever ball across for his brother Brian to grab Dublin’s second goal and it was Ronan that was fouled for Burke’s goal, a miscued free that somehow found the Antrim net.

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 1-11 (1-8fs), Sean Currie 0-5, Conor Burke 0-5, Paul Crummey 1-0, Brian Hayes 1-0, Cian O’Sullivan 0-2, John Bellew 0-2, Ronan Hayes 0-2, Danny Sutcliffe 0-1, Conor Donohoe 0-1, Fergal Whitely 0-1, Sean Gallagher 0-1, Darragh Power 0-1.

Scorers for Antrim: James McNaughton 1-2, Conal Cunning 0-4 (4fs), Eoghan Campbell 0-3, Seaan Elliott 0-2, Keelan Molloy 0-2, Gerard Walsh 0-2 (1f), Niall McKenna 0-1, Nigel Elliott 0-1, Fred McCurry 0-1.

Dublin: Sean Brennan; John Bellew, Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smyth; Chris Crummey, Conor Donohoe, Paddy Doyle; Conor Burke, Brian Hayes; Fergal Whitely, Donal Burke, Danny Sutcliffe; Sean Currie, Cian O’Sullivan, Paul Crummey.

Subs: Ronan Hayes for P Crummey 47, Darragh Power for Sutcliffe 59, James Madden for C Crummey 64, Jake Malone for O’Sullivan 65, Sean Gallagher for Currie 69.

Antrim: Ryan Elliott; Niall O’Connor, Paddy Burke, Conor Boyd; Gerard Walsh, Ryan McGarry, Conal Bohill; Keelan Molloy, Eoghan Campbell; Nigel Elliott, James McNaughton, Niall McKenna; Aodhan O’Brien, Conal Cunning, Seaan Elliott.

Subs: Joseph McLaughlin for O’Brien 47, Paul Boyle for Molloy 50, Fred McCurry for Boyd 55, Christy McGarry for McKenna 62, Sean McKay for Cunning 66.

Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).

Carlow GAA
Dublin GAA
Kildare GAA
Kilkenny GAA
Laois GAA
Longford GAA
Louth GAA
Meath GAA
Offaly GAA
Westmeath GAA
Wexford GAA
Wicklow GAA