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Antrim annihilated as ruthless Clare close in on U21 hurling treble

All-Ireland champions Clare ran out 27-point winners against Antrim in Semple Stadium this afternoon.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Clare 4-28

Antrim 1-10

AARON CUNNINGHAM SCORED 3-3 in a man of the match performance as Clare continued their march towards a third straight BGE All-Ireland U21 Hurling title against Antrim.

The Banner went into today’s semi-final in Semple Stadium as 1/500 favourites and justified that price, winning by 27 points.

The first of Cunningham’s three goals helped Clare to an early 1-7 before Antrim managed to get their first score on the board, a Seán McAfee goal on 19 minutes.

Cunningham added his second as the one-way traffic continued with Clare leading by 18 points at the break, 2-16 to 1-1.

Banner managers Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney were able to give plenty of their subs a run out and a chance to stake their claim ahead of the final on 13 September.

Cathal ‘Tots’ O’Connell — who has missed most of the campaign through injury — was introduced at the end of the first half and finished with six points (five frees).

Clare could have been forgiven for easing off the pedal in the second half but they weren’t finished, and a fine strike from captain Tony Kelly and Cunningham’s hat-trick goal wrapped up a comfortable win.

Scorers for Clare: A Cunningham 3-3, T Kelly 1-3, C O’Connell 0-6 (5f), B Duggan 0-5 (3f), D Reidy 0-3, C Galvin, S O’Donnell 0-2 each, E Enright, J Shanahan, N Deasy, S Gleeson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Antrim: Stephen McAfee 0-3, Seán McAfee 1-0, C Clarke, C Burke 0-2 each, D McKernan, S McCaughan, M Bradley 0-1 each.

Clare

1. Keith Hogan

2. Jarlath Colleran
3. Jack Browne
4. Seadna Morey

5. Gearóid O’Connell
6. Alan O’Neill
7. Jamie Shanahan

8. Colm Galvin
9. Eoin Enright

10. Bobby Duggan
11. Tony Kelly
12. Peter Duggan

13. Shane O’Donnell
14. Aaron Cunningham
15. David Reidy

Subs: Cathal O’Connell for Reidy (30+1), Niall Deasy for B Duggan (HT), Shane O’Brien for Morey (46), Shane Gleeson for Galvin (46).

Antrim

1. Ciarán Butler

2. Michael Dudley
3. Paddy Burke
4. Michael Bradley

5. Ryan McCambridge
6. Jackson McGreevy
7. Tomás Ó Ciaráin

8. Eoghan Campbell
9. Niall McKenna

10. Daniel McCloskey
11. Stephen McAfee
12. Darragh McGuinness

13. Daniel McKernan
14. Seán McAfee
15. Ciarán Clarke

Subs: Conor Burke for McGuinness (29), Saul McCaughan for McCloskey (HT), James O’Connell for McKenna (38), Maol Connolly for McCambridge (43), Eamonn McCaughan for Seán McAfee (52).

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