Dublin claim narrow victory over Antrim after cruel blow on hosts’ goalkeeper in dying moments

DUBLIN MAY have grabbed their first League points of the season at a sunny Corrigan Park on Sunday, but they got their thanks to a huge slice of luck that was equally cruel on Antrim.

Trailing by one in stoppage time, Seán Gallagher sent in a shot for a point that was taken down by Antrim goalkeeper Tiernan Smyth but he would miss his subsequent pick-up as the ball just crossed his own line for a goal that would ultimately prove decisive.

Seán Gallagher's shot caused the mistake by Tiernan Smyth


Seán Gallagher’s shot caused the mistake by Tiernan Smyth
Antrim were desperately unlucky to walk away with a loss


Antrim were desperately unlucky to walk away with a loss

It was cruel on Smyth who had done little wrong all game and to his team-mates who had grown into the game after a slow start to be the better side in the second period.

But as this Antrim team have found out a number of times in recent years, sport doesn’t do sentiment at this level and they were left crushed.

“You have to say Antrim hurled really well and if it was a draw you’d say it was a fair result,” said Donoghue.

“This is a really hard place to come to. Darren has done a really good job here and you can see his footprint on it, so we knew coming up it was going to be tough.

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“In fairness to our lads, they showed a lot of resilience to hang in there and that’s all you want of them. 

“It’s unfortunate for ‘keepers that their mistakes are highlighted more than anyone outfield. It was a very lucky goal but we’ll take it.”

Aided by the breeze on a sunny afternoon, Dublin were quicker out of the traps with Colin Currie pointing them into a lead from a free within the opening minute.

The Dubs had an impressive spread of scorers with their first six attacks yielding points from as many scorers, while Antrim had three Conal Cunning frees to show.

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Niall McKenna notched the first from play for the Saffrons with Currie replying, but the hosts were now settled and drew level at 0-7.

Dublin replied with three of their own, but on 25 minutes, the impressive Ryan McGarry delivered long to his Dunloy clubmate Cunning who rose to fetch, turn and bury to the net.

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He would add a point from play to edge Antrim ahead, but Dublin closed the half well to lead 0-13 to 1-8 with Currie ending the half as he started from a free in a half that saw 10 different names on the scoresheet for the visitors. 

Burke added to the lead after the break, but Antrim began to take over with three from Cunning and another from Scott Walsh edging them ahead for the first time.

They kept their foot on the gas and even when the Dubs hit three in a row to level, they pushed on further with Fred McCurry and debutant Joseph McLaughlin on target.


McLaughlin would hit the side-netting from a late goal chance as Dublin got back on terms again, but it looked to be Antrim’s day when Cunning put them in the lead late on.

However, then came the decisive moment that Smyth will want to forget and while Aaron Bradley pulled one back for Antrim in added time, it would prove to be the last act as Dublin escaped with the win.

“We didn’t get what we deserved out of it,” Antrim manager Darren Gleeson reflected.

“There was an obvious mistake at the end everyone will focus in on, but there were mistakes in the lead-up around how we tackled and a ball before that should have went dead.

“We are working so hard and felt we deserved something today but just didn’t get it. No excuses, it was our own fault.”


ANTRIM: T Smyth; S Rooney, R McCloskey, P Burke (0-1); C Boyd, R McGarry, S Walsh (0-2); E Campbell (0-1), N O’Connor; R McMullan (0-1), A O’Brien, N McKenna (0-1); C Cunning (1-10, 0-6f, 0-1 65), J McLaughlin (0-1), F McCurry (0-1)

Subs: R McAteer for R McMullan (61), P Duffin for S Rooney (64), A Bradley (0-1) for J McLaughlin (68), C McGarry for A O’Brien (70+2)

DUBLIN: S Brennan; R Smith (0-1), P Smyth, J Bellew; D Power, C Donohoe (0-1), D Gray; C Burke (0-2), B Hayes (0-3); F Whitely (0-2), C Currie (0-3f), S Currie (0-1); D Ó Dúlaing (0-1), C O’Sullivan (0-5, 3f), P Crummey (0-1)

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Subs: D Purcell for C Currie (44), S Gallagher for D Power (44), L Murphy for D Ó Dúlaing (57), J Malone for P Crummey (66)

REFEREE: C Flynn (Westmeath)

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