Division 4 All square in Antrim and London


An Injury-time point from Rory Finn salvaged a draw for 13-man Wicklow against Antrim at a wintery Corrigan Park in Belfast.

John Evans’ side lost their captain Seanie Furlong and substitute Theo Smyth to second yellow cards in the second period, but still managed a share of the spoils against an Antrim side who had a late chance to win, but CJ McGourty’s free fell short.

It was the visitors who made the better start in Belfast as they raced into a four-point lead, with Furlong and goalkeeper Mark Jackson kicking two points apiece.

However, the hosts began to grow into the game with Paddy McBride and Ryan Murray to the fore. McBride kicked two frees before Murray landed a magnificent score from out on the left, though Wicklow continued to lead with Darragh Hayden kicking a free.

Two Murray points levelled the game and he tied it up once again after Jackson kicked his third free of the half to leave it 0-6 to 0-6 at the break.

Wicklow were back in front four minutes after the restart when Conor Healy’s effort from range dropped over, but Antrim were beginning to dominate. McBride made it all square from the most acute of angles on the right and then Conor Murray got in on the act, kicking over after taking a pass from Mark Sweeney to move them in front for the first time in the game on 41 minutes.

Furlong levelled matters once more but Antrim continued to push forward and two McBride points gave them a 0-10 to 0-8 lead midway through the half.

A Hayden free trimmed the gap back, but Wicklow were then dealt a major blow as Furlong was issued a second yellow card on 60 minutes as the game began to get a little tetchy.

Antrim looked to take a firm grip on the game and on 64 minutes Peter Healy advanced up to kick a brilliant score.

Wicklow stuck to the task, and pointed frees on 66 and 67 minutes from Jackson and Hayden tied the game once again, but they were then down to 13 as they lost Smyth to a second yellow for backchat.

Antrim had a chance to get back in front, but McGourty was off-target from a free, although from the resulting kick-out, the St Gall’s man came away with the ball through a ruck of players and kicked a magical score.

There was still time for Wicklow and the ball was worked to Rory Finn, the big midfielder landing the equaliser a minute into added time.

Antrim still had their chances to grab the winner, but Kristan Healy didn’t get hold of his shot when in on the right and then, what proved to be the last act of the game, McGourty’s free from around 35 metres to the right of goal dropped short and left the sides with a share of the spoils.

ANTRIM: C Kerr; P Healy (0-01), P Gallagher, N Delargy; K O’Boyle, M Sweeney, J Laverty; S Burke, P McAleer; M McCarry, S Beatty, P McBride (0-05, 0-03f); M Fitzpatrick, C Murray (0-01), R Murray (0-04, 0-02f). Subs: CJ McGourty (0-01) for M McCarry (48 mins), R Johnson for S Burke (56 mins), K Healy for J Laverty (68 mins), R McCann for P McAleer (68 mins).

WICKLOW: M Jackson (0-04 frees); C Hyland, J Snell, H Wilson; P Burke, D Healy, R O’Brien; R Finn (0-01), J Stafford; D Hayden (0-04 frees), M Kenny, C Magee; J Crowe, S Furlong (0-03, 0-02f), C Healy. Subs: E Murtagh for P Burke (29 mins), D Keane for M Kenny (46 mins), T Smyth for C Magee (46 mins), C Byrne for D Keane (62 mins).

REFEREE: Niall McKenna (Monaghan)

A goal in the sixth minute of injury time from Anthony McDermott secured a deserved draw for London at McGovern Park in Ruislip.

The visitors hit eight wides in the opening period and trailed 1-01 to 0-01 after Fergal McMahon’s 17th-minute penalty.

Limerick hit back with three in a row from Jamie Lee, Garrett Noonan and Danny Neville to level matters before the first of two Josh Ryan goals helped them into a 1-04 to 1-02 half-time lead.

London scored four without reply to move a point ahead midway through the second half, a lead they maintained as 70 minutes approached.

Then Ryan struck for another goal, finishing a rebound after Seamus O’Carroll’s shot was saved, and the latter added a point to put three between them.

London recovered from the shock of that concession to produce their own late goal, securing a third point of the campaign when McDermott fired home a loose ball. Limerick get off the mark after two defeats.