Allianz HL D1B: Dubs deny Antrim
Allianz Hurling League 1B
ANTRIM 0-22 DUBLIN 0-23
From David Mohan at Corrigan Park
Donal Burke's last-gasp free snatched a win for Dublin over Antrim in 1B of the Allianz Hurling League at Corrigan Park in Belfast this afternoon.
The hosts had battled back from seven down in the second period and thought they had rescued a point when Neil McManus hit his 16th point of the afternoon deep into added time from a free, but the Dubs launched one last attack, winning a free that Burke converted to claim the points.
After Burke gave Dublin the lead 13 seconds in, Antrim took charge with McManus knocking over four of his and Antrim's eight first half points.
Dublin rallied with three of the next four scores through Fergal Whitely, Burke and Paul Ryan as they began to get the measure of the hosts although Antrim were still keeping pace.
Dublin's spread of scores was greater although it was a Ryan free that gave them their first lead on 21 minutes after some fine scores from James Madden and Donal Burke.
A McManus double restored the Antrim advantage, but the Dubs were to take over in the final 10 minutes of the half, hitting seven without reply to take a 0-14 to 0-8 lead into the break.
It was eight in a row straight after the break as Ryan tapped over a free, but Antrim found an answer as they began to work their way into the game.
Arron Graffin fired over a great point with McManus (two) and Gerard Walsh adding scores to narrow the gap to three, but Dublin reeled off four without reply themselves as Burke, Ryan, Whitely and Cian McBride raised flags.
Antrim were hanging in, but in the final quarter they started to chip away at the lead with McManus leading the charge from placed balls while James McNaughton hit two magnificent points and Graffin another.
Liam Rushe was introduced for Pat Gilroy's men as he replaced Paul Ryan with Donal Burke taking over the free-taking duties and he kept the scoreboard ticking over for Dublin who led by three with as many minutes to play.
The hosts refused to panic and McManus hit points from a free and a 65 to leave the minimum between the teams as the game entered added time and when he nailed a free from inside his own 65 as the clocked ticked onto 74 minutes, we thought that had sealed a draw.
However, there was still time for one more play and Ryan McCambridge was penalised for a foul on Rushe with Burke stepping up to split the posts from 65 out to snatch a win with the last puck of the ball and give Dublin their first points of the campaign.
Antrim scorers: Neil McManus 0-16 (11 frees,2 65s), Arron Graffin 0-2, James McNaughton 0-2, Gerard Walsh 0-1, Dan McCloskey 0-1.
Dublin scorers: Paul Ryan 0-8 (6 frees), Donal Burke 0-7 (4 frees), Conal Keaney 0-2, Fergal Whitely 0-2, Cian McBride 0-2, Danny Sutcliffe 0-1, James Madden 0-1
ANTRIM: Chris O'Connell; Paddy Burke, John Dillon, Arron Graffin; Joe Maskey, Matthew Donnelly, David Kearney; Gerard Walsh, Conor McKinley; James Connolly, Neil McManus, Nigel Elliott; Donal McKinley, Conor McCann, Conor Johnston. Subs: Conor Carson for James Connolly (8 mins), Neal McAuley for Joe Maskey (43 mins), James McNaughton (0-2) for Gerard Walsh (44 mins), Ryan McCambridge for Conor McCann (53 mins), Dan McCloskey (0-1) for Nigel Elliott (63 mins).
DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Bill O’Carroll, Eoghan O’Donnell; Shane Barrett, Chris Crummey, James Madden; Cian McBride, Tomás Connolly; Donal Burke, Fergal Whitely, Danny Sutcliffe; Conal Keaney, Eamonn Dillon, Paul Ryan. Subs: Liam Rushe for Paul Ryan (51 mins), Johnny McCafrey for Cian McBride (53 mins), Niall McMorrow for T Connolly (64 mins), Paul Winters for Eamonn Dillon (68 mins).
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford)