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Late goal sees Antrim edge out high-scoring thriller with Offaly, Down overcome Kerry

There was plenty of action in the Joe McDonagh Cup today.

Antrim's Conor Johnston [file photo].
Antrim's Conor Johnston [file photo].
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

Joe McDonagh Cup Results

  • Antrim 3-22 Offaly 2-24
  • Kerry 0-18 Down 1-19
  • Meath 0-17 Carlow 4-30

***

ANTRIM GOT THEIR Joe McDonagh Cup campaign off to a winning start after edging out Offaly in a high-scoring thriller at Corrigan Park, while Down overcame Kerry.

Conor Johnston grabbed a late goal, his second of the afternoon, to settle the tie. That score pushed Antrim into a two-point lead in the dying moments. Offaly, who finished with 14 players, had one last chance to snatch the win when they were awarded a free 30 metres out.

But Eoghan Cahill was unable to find the net as Antrim players packed into the net and pushed his shot over the bar.

The sides were level at 0-6 each after 18 minutes, with Conor McCann producing Antrim’s first goal in the 33rd minute as the sides went in level at half-time.

The hosts were four points clear when Johnston got the first of his two goals and Antrim appeared to be cruising to victory. Meanwhile, Offaly’s Jack Screeney had been sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

Offaly responded with a goal from David Nally, and they brought it back to a level game through a Paddy Clancy goal in the 70th minute. Cahill then put them ahead with a free, but Johnston found the net again to regain the advantage for Antrim as they held out for the win.

Down opened up their Joe McDonagh Cup campaign with four-point victory over Kerry after grabbing a crucial early goal through Daithi Sands.

Both sides were awarded penalties in the closing stages of the tie, with neither managing to convert their opportunities as Oisin McManus came away with a point for Down while Shane Conway’s effort was saved.

Kerry reacted well to that early goal as they worked into a 0-11 to 1-7 half-time lead following a Michael Leane point before the break. But Down edged ahead in the second half and held on for victory, as their effective free-taker Paul Sheehan finished with an impressive tally of 0-14.

Meanwhile, Carlow scored a commanding victory over Meath, grabbing four goals in a 25-point win through Marty Kavanagh, Sean Murphy, Chris Nolan and Conor Kehoe.

Leinster U20FC quarter-final

Longford 0-13 Meath 1-11

Leinster MHC

Carlow 1-15 Westmeath 4-12

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Kilkenny 2-16 Dublin 3-14

Offaly 1-20 Laois 1-17

Down 2-12 Antrim 1-15

Ulster MFC

Fermanagh 2-9 Down 1-9

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