Allianz Hurling League Division 1B
Antrim 1-19 Dublin 1-20
By David Mohan at Corrigan Park
Just as it seemed they were about to bank victory over Dublin at a sunny Corrigan Park on Sunday, disaster struck for Antrim with luckless goalkeeper Tiernan Smyth fumbling over his own line in stoppage time and conceding a goal that ultimately proved fatal.
The Saffrons had entered this game off the back of last week's heavy defeat to Limerick, but showed no ill-effects as they grew in confidence with each minute of this game against a Dublin side also looking for their first points after losing to Tipperary in their opener.
They trailed at the break but took over in the second period and never trailed until that moment in stoppage time when a Seán Gallagher attempte for a point was stopped by Smyth. But, as he tried to pick the ball, he took his eye off it and it just crossed the line as the Dubs profited from the luckiest of lucky breaks.
Aided by the breeze on a sunny afternoon, Dublin were quicker out of the traps with Colin Currie pointing them into a lead from a free within the opening minute.
The Dubs had an impressive spread of scorers with their first six attacks yielding points from as many scorers, while Antrim had three Conal Cunning frees to show.
Niall McKenna notched the first from play for the Saffrons with Currie replying, but the hosts were now settled and drew level at 0-7.
Dublin replied with three of their own, but on 25 minutes, the impressive Ryan McGarry delivered long to his Dunloy clubmate Cunning who rose to fetch, turn and bury to the net.
He would add a point from play to edge Antrim ahead, but Dublin closed the half well to lead 0-13 to 1-8 with Currie ending the half as he started from a free in a half that saw 10 different names on the scoresheet for the visitors.
Burke added to the lead after the break, but Antrim began to take over with three from Cunning and another from Scott Walsh edging them ahead for the first time.
They kept their foot on the gas and even when the Dubs hit three in a row to level, they pushed on further with Fred McCurry and debutant Joseph McLaughlin on target.
McLaughlin would hit the side-netting from a late goal chance as Dublin got back on terms again, but it looked to be Antrim's day when Cunning put them in the lead late on.]
However, then came the decisive moment that Smyth, who had put in a solid game throughout, will want to forget and while Aaron Bradley pulled one back for Antrim in added time, it would prove to be the last act as Dublin escaped with the win.
Scorers for Antrim: C Cunning 1-10 (0-6f, -01 65), S Walsh 0-2, N McKenna 0-1, P Burke 0-1, E Campbell 0-1, R McMullan 0-1, F McCurry 0-1, J McLaughlin 0-1, A Bradley 0-1
Scorers for Dublin: C O'Sullivan 0-5 (3f), T Smyth (OG) 1-0, B Hayes 0-3, C Currie 0-3 (3f), F Whitely 0-2, C Burke 0-2, C Donohoe 0-1, S Currie 0-1 D Ó Dúlaing 0-1, R Smith 0-1, P Crummey 0-1
ANTRIM: Tiernan Smyth; Stephen Rooney, Rory McCloskey, Paddy Burke; Conor Boyd, Ryan McGarry, Scott Walsh; Eoghan Campbell, Niall O'Connor; Rian McMullan, Aodhán O'Brien, Niall McKenna; Conal Cunning, Joseph McLaughlin, Fred McCurry.
Subs: Ronan McAteer for R McMullan (61), Phelim Duffin for S Rooney (64), Aaron Bradley for J McLaughlin (68), Christy McGarry for A O'Brien (70+2)
DUBLIN: Seán Brennan; Ronán Smith, Paddy Smyth, John Bellen; Darragh Power, Conor Donohoe, Daire Gray; Conor Burke, Brian Hayes; Fergal Whitely, Colin Currie, Seán Currie; Diarmaid Ó Dúlaing, Cian O'Sullivan, Paul Crummey
Subs: Dara Purcell for C Currie (44), Seán Gallagher for D Power (44), Liam Murphy for D Ó Dúlaing (57), Jake Malone for P Crummey (66)
REFEREE: Caymon Flynn (Westmeath)