Down see off Antrim challenge

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Antrim 0-10 v 3-13 Down
Full time

70min: Full time at Casement Park as Down blew Antrim away in the second half with a convincing display with Marty Clarke impressing in particular.
69min: Marty Clarke scores again for Down, he has now scored 1.03 in this game.
66min: Marty Clarke adds another point to his and Down’s tally.
65min: Antrim get a point but it’s not going to make much difference at this stage.
64min: Kevin McKernan scores for Down.
63min: Down score another point.
59min: Mooney nets Down’s third goal.
58min: Kevin Niblock gets another point for Antrim
55min: Antrim get a point back.
53min: Clarke in flying form as he adds another point to Down’s lead.
49min: Marty Clarke scores a second goal for Down to put some distance between the teams.
46min: Down put another point past Antrim through Brannigan quickly after their goal.
45min: Conor Laverty scores a goal after a brilliant run through the Antrim box.
44min: Marty Clarke levels it from a 45.
43min: Gerard O’Boyle puts Antrim in the lead for the first time in the game.
38min: Brendan Herron levels the score with a point.
36min: Game restarts.

Half time: Down started well and were stronger in midfield but Antrim fought back and have pulled their deficit back to just one point to keep them in the game for the second half.
35min: Antrim pull one back through Brendan Herron.
34min: Mark Poland makes up for his miss with another point for Down.
31min: We have a game on our hands as Antrim have picked up the pace and are starting to bring the game to Down, who just hit the post and miss a chance through Mark Poland.
26min: Kevin Niblock gets a comeback going with another point to bring the difference to one point between the teams.
25min: Paddy Cunningham scores a free to narrow the gap.
24min: Antrim get the second point through Crozier.
22min: Mark Poland scores again for Down.
17min: Antrim’s Paddy Cunningham puts their first point on the board with a free.
15min: Benny Coulter adds his second and Down’s fourth. Antrim yet to get on the score sheet.
7min: Mark Poland gets his second point and Down’s third.
5min: Down go 2 up with a the opening point from Mark Poland and the second from Benny Coulter.
0min: Game kicks off at Casement Park.
Antrim will clash with Down this Saturday in an all Ulster showdown in the qualifying round of the All Ireland Football Championship at Casement Park with a 7.00pm throw in with both teams looking to improve on what has been a below par championship for both teams this season.

Despite both sides only having a brief run in the provincial championship, with Antrim losing a dour game to Donegal and Down suffered a surprise five-point loss to Armagh at the Athletic Grounds this game could potentially kick start either counties season.

The two teams have enjoyed an extended run in the qualifiers with Antrim have disposed of Westmeath and Carlow in recent weeks while Down squeezed past Clare in Ennis before recording an eight-point win over Leitrim last weekend.

Like with so many Down performances in the past Benny Coulter will be a hugely influential player just as he was last week when his seven points eased Down past Leitrim. If Antrim are to gain a foothold in the game on Saturday then they will have to defused Coulter from the off.

Along with the presence of Coulter, Antrim have an injury concern over Kevin O’Boyle who is still suffering the after effects of jarring his knee in the win over Carlow. O’Boyle would be a huge loss for Antrim should he not make the game as his influence and presence adds so much to the Saffrons.

Despite not been the team of a few years ago Down still have a reservoir of experience to call on in games like this. That experience coupled with having a fit and hungry Benny Coulter in their ranks should ensure that Down continue on the road to Croke Park at the expense of Antrim. will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.


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