Allianz HL D1: Tipperary too good for Antrim
Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B
TIPPERARY 7-29 ANTRIM 1-17
By Shane Brophy at FBD Semple Stadium
Tipperary rounded off their Allianz National Hurling League campaign with a comfortable win over Antrim at FBD Semple Stadium Thurles on Sunday.
The win wasn’t enough to see Colm Bonnar’s men into the semi-finals but they did find the goal touch as they build up for championship with five in the first half from Jason Forde, wing back Seamus Kennedy, Michael Breen and a brace from Mark Kehoe whose direct approach cut the Antrim defence open at will.
The visitors, who were preparing for a relegation playoff, rested the likes of goalkeeper Ryan Elliott, Gerard Walsh, and Neil McManus, weren’t shy on scoring themselves with Keelan Molloy contributing five from play as they trailed at half time, 5-10 to 0-13.
The second half was more of the same as John McGrath helped himself to two goals for Tipperary as eleven different players got on the scoresheet with Colm Bonnar bringing to 31 the number of players used in the league so far with Enda Heffernan and Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher making their first appearances with the latter getting a great reception from the fans as he made his return from long term injury.
Antrim managed a consolation goal from sub Domhnall Nugent as the Ulster men fell to thirty point defeat and now have to pick themselves up to face Offaly in the relegation playoff next weekend.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 1-8 (0-4f); Mark Kehoe, John McGrath 2-3 each; Noel McGrath 0-4; Michael Breen 1-1; Ronan Maher 0-3; Conor Bowe, Paul Flynn, Conor Stakelum 0-2 each; Seamus Kennedy 1-0; Robert Byrne 0-1.
Scorers for Antrim: Keelan Molloy, James McNaughton (2f) 0-5 each; Domhnall Nugent 1-0; Sean Elliott 0-2; Paddy Burke, Scott Walsh, Conal Cunning, Conor Johnston, Conor McCann 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, James Quigley, Craig Morgan; Robert Byrne, Ronan Maher, Seamus Kennedy; Dan McCormack, Barry Heffernan; Conor Bowe, Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Jason Forde, Mark Kehoe, John McGrath. Subs: Conor Stakelum for McCormack (HT); Patrick Maher for Breen (HT); Enda Heffernan for Byrne (45); Paul Flynn for Kehoe (50); Cian Darcy for Bowe (58).
ANTRIM: Paul McMullan; Aaron Crawford; Matthew Donnelly, Paddy Burke; Scott Walsh, Eoghan Campbell, Joe Maskey; Keelan Molloy, Daniel McKernan; Conal Cunning, James McNaughton, Conor Johnston; Sean Elliott, Conor McCann, Ciaran Clarke. Subs: Ryan McGarry for Donnelly (41 inj); Eoin O’Neill for Johnston (43); Ryan McCambridge for McKernan (43); Domhnall Nugent for Cunning (45); Phelim Duffin for Maskey (64).
Referee: Rory McGann (Clare)