Antrim prove they can be Offaly good

Thursday, 15 March 2018

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ANTRIM'S hurlers picked up their first National Hurling League points in this their fifth and final game of  Division 1B.
Played at Birr, it truly was a dead rubber for both sides as the Saffrons were already facing a relegation play-off and Offaly had done enough to secure their present status for next season.
With Laois failing against Dublin and on the same number of points as Antrim, they will provide the opposition in that relegation decider.
The Saffrons found themselves in a similar position to back in 1989 when they faced Offaly, again in a must win game to secure a relegation play off spot.
And, like that encounter which they won with a late goal from Olcan McFetridge, they repeated the dose, this time around Dunloy man Nigel Elliott providing the ammunition which pulled them through in a really tight affair.
While they were already in a play-off situation, unlike all those years ago,  Elliott's brilliant injury-time goal earned them a very important three-point morale-boosting victory which should put them in the proper frame of mind to again tackle Laois this weekend.
With Offaly having already booked their place  in the quarter-finals, manager Kevin Martin took the chance of trying out players from his subs-bench and the new faces struggled early on as
Antrim started brightly with 1-2 in the first five minutes with points from Conor McCann and Conor Johnston and a goal from Daniel McCloskey which came after a mix up in the Offaly defence.


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