Antrim and Cavan make qualifier progress

Antrim's Ryan Murray
Antrim's Ryan Murray

Antrim produced a remarkable comeback to beat Laois in the opening round of the Qualifiers.

The visitors looked to be dead and buried when Laois moved into an eight-point lead early in the second half and it could have been much worse for Frank Fitzsimons’ men as they needed a crucial penalty save from Chris Kerr to keep the gap in single figures.

A fixtures controversy within Antrim saw Connor Burke, CJ McGourty and Conor McGourty line out for St Galls in a hurling league fixture last night and Fitzsimons reacted to the his players’ decision by dropping all three players from his starting team, sending Paddy McAleer, Ryan Murray and Patrick McBride into action in their stead.

Murray turned out to be a match winner for the Saffrons as he kicked 1-5 over the course of the game while he also had a crucial hand in Dermot McAleese’s vital winning goal.

Meanwhile, Terry Hyland’s Cavan were too much for London at Ruislip on Saturday. Goals from Gearóid McKiernan and

Dara McVeety put the gloss on the score-line but even without the green flags, it would have been a comfortable victory for the visitors.

Laois 1-16 Antrim 2-15
London 0-11 Cavan 2-22