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2021 Allianz Football League Division 4 Semi-Final – Antrim 1-15 Waterford 0-11
Antrim defeated Waterford by 1-15 to 0-11 in the Allianz Football League Division 4 Semi-Final on Sunday June 13th at Fraher Field Dungarvan.
Odhran Eastwood goal seals promotion for Antrim
Report by Tomas McCarthy for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Antrim 1-15 Waterford 0-11
“We are going up” was the chant at a sun drenched Dungarvan as a late goal from Odhran Eastwood blasted Antrim back to Division 3. The Naomh Eanna man scored 1-5 as the Saffrons celebrated promotion.
All Ireland winner with Tyrone Enda McGinley has guided them to the third tier in his first year in charge. “I’m absolutely delighted for the players because they’ve had a couple of close shaves over the previous couple of years. The effort they put in during the lockdown period made it easy for us.”
He won’t get the chance to face former manager Mickey Harte in the Division 4 final however. “I’ll be happy enough not to have to go up against Mickey Harte again to be honest!” Waterford boss Shane Ronayne felt that Antrim midfielder Niall McKeever should have been sent off in the first half for a challenge on Jason Curry.
“I’m not saying the guy went out to maliciously do it but I think his studs were up and it warranted a red card. It was studs up and it damaged Jason’s back. Conor Murray got a yellow card two or three minutes later for something innocuous. Look, I don’t think it had any bearing on the game.”
In front of 100 fans, the visitors led 0-8 to 0-1 by the 26th minute. Eastwood got three points while Ruairi McCann converted two advanced two marks. It took 25 minutes for Jason Curry to open Waterford’s account from a 45.
The Déise dominated the second quarter and reduced the deficit to five at half time with Dylan Guiry and Dermot Ryan on target (0-9 to 0-4).
Waterford netminder Paudie Hunt made a spectacular diving save from Marc Jordan as Antrim stayed five in front at the second water break. It wouldn’t have looked out of place at Euro 2020.
The Saffrons squandered five goal chances before Eastwood netted on 65 minutes.
Scorers for Antrim: O Eastwood 1-5 (2fs), R McCann 0-4 (2ms) R Murray 0-3 (1f), C Stewart, P McBride, C Small 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: J Curry 0-4 (2fs, 1 45), J Gleeson 0-2, D Ryan, M Kiely, D Guiry, D Corcoran, M Cummins 0-1 each.
ANTRIM: L Mulholland; E McCabe, R Johnston, P Healy; D McAleese, J Laverty, M Jordan; N McKeever, C Stewart; R Murray, C Murray, P McBride; O Eastwood, R McCann, C Small.
Subs: E Walsh for McAleese (20), K Small for R Murray (43), T McCann for C Small (48), A Loughran for C Murray (63), J McAuley for Jordan (63), P Cunningham for Eastwood (71), J Crozier for McKeever (71).
WATERFORD: P Hunt; D Ó Cathasaigh, J Elsted, S Boyce; D Ryan, B Looby, M Curry; T Prendergast, J Curry; M Kiely, C Murray, D Hallinan; S Curry, D Guiry, D Corcoran.
Subs: J Gleeson for S Curry (43), A Jones for Hallinan (46), M Cummins for Boyce (50), S O’Meara for Guiry (62), D Fitzgerald for Kiely (68), C Maguire for J Curry (68), D Meehan for Ryan (68).
Referee: D Murnane (Cork).
WATERFORD (AFL v Antrim): P. Hunt; S. Boyce, J. Elsted, D. Ó Cathasaigh; M. Curry, B. Looby, D. Ryan; T. Prendergast; J. Curry; M. Kiely, C. Murray, D. Hallinan; S. Curry, D. Guiry, D. Corcoran.