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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Meath are finally Christy Ring Cup champions after win in nine goal thriller against Antrim

And that score line does seem to be right.

Meath’s James Toher with Tony McCloskey of Antrim
Meath’s James Toher with Tony McCloskey of Antrim
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Meath 4-21
Antrim 5-17

(After extra-time)

MEATH HAVE BEEN crowned Christy Ring Cup champions at the second time of asking in this evening’s refixture at Croke Park, after a thrilling game against Antrim that delivered nine goals.

Stephen Clynch struck a last-gasp point from a free in extra-time to deliver glory for the Royals.

It was a sweet success for Meath after they had won the game against Antrim three weeks ago before a replay was ordered by the GAA due to a scoring mistake.

Antrim got off to a perfect start in normal time with a goal from Ciaran Clarke and Conor Johnston added a second before half-time to see them in front 2-8 to 0-6.

Meath dug deep in the second-half and roared back into contention with Neil Heffernan bagging a brace of goals to help them go in front 2-13 to 2-12 with just five minutes left.

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There was incredible drama in the finale as Niall McKenna hit a third goal for Antrim, then Meath went back in front when Clynch netted before Darren Hamill proved Antrim’s hero with a goal with the last puck of normal-time. That left it 4-12 to 3-15 and extra-time was required to settle the issue.

Meath pounced for their fourth goal courtesy of Gavin McGowan in the first-half of extra-time as they went in front 4-17 to 4-15 at the midway mark.

Antrim refused to fold with James Connolly striking their fifth goal but as the action ebbed and flowed in a pulsating finale, it was Clynch who proved the hero with that late free.

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Fintan O'Toole

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