Another tough defeat for Antrimís footballers

Thursday, 16 February 2017

THIS was another disastrous afternoon of National League football for Antrim at Tullamore.
Nursing a home defeat by Tipperary in their opening Division Three game they suffered an even bigger beating at the hands of Offaly, who, in their opening game, were also losers - to Longford.
What a dismal picture this 13 point defeat paints as Saffron football continues to go down the tubes.
While away games are hard to win with both Louth and Armagh still to be visited, they would need to break their duck soon if they hope to retain their third grade status.
Facing a stiff breeze in the first half the Saffrons were still in with a shout at the break, just five points back, 0-4 to 0-9. Total collapse, however, in the second half saw them fail to score for some 21 minutes at which stage the game was well out of sight.
Eight unanswered points into the breeze saw Offaly well on their way and at 0-17 to 0-4 there was no way back for Antrim.
The story of the game was the use of substitutes, and, as it turned out, the overuse. Kevin Niblock was first into the fray replacing Conor Small after they trailed by three but it made little difference as they faile to score for 21 minutes, a similar story to the second half.
Offaly, leading by five to nothing, thanks to the efforts of Bernard Allen, Owen Carroll and Nigel Dunne, couldn't believe their luck before the Saffrons made some form of resistance.
Points from Matt Fitzpatrick and Ryan Murray gave them some glimmer of hope and when Fitzpatrick and Patrick Gallagher added one each there, 0-4 to 0-9, interval position was certainly not irredeemable.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymoney Chronicle.


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