Tipperary 0-14 Antrim 1-19
Antrim put their failure to take anything from two closely-contested league games against Offaly and Down behind them in Thurles on Saturday, when they overwhelmed a very weak Tipperary side to record their first competitive win of 2023.
The Saffrons dominated from start to finish in this contest, though some dreadfully poor shooting in the opening quarter hour allowed Tipperary to sneak into an early 0-2 to 0-1 lead. The momentum of the game changed decisively however when Conor Stewart seized a Tipp kick out and drove straight back down the throat of the Premier County defence, before driving a low shot inside Michael O’Reilly’s near post.
Tipperary stayed in contention for the next 10 minutes thanks to impressive points from Emmet Moloney and Paudie Feehan, though both sides were guilty of some poor handling and decision making in this phase, and a black card to team captain Shane O’Connell put them on the back foot leading up to half-time.
Antrim stretched their lead to five points by the break, 1-8 to 0-6, with Rúairí McCann also missing a penalty, but the extra energy expended on the Tipperary side was evident in the early stages of the second half, when a brace of long distance scores from Pat Shivers extended the lead even further.
Donough Leahy’s first act after coming off the bench, a point in the third minute of the second half, was the home side’s last score before the 55th minute, by which time Antrim had extended their lead out to double figures.
Odhrán Eastwood’s three points off the bench, two from Dominic McEnhill and a third from play for Marc Jordan were among the highlights for Andy McEntee’s side, whose dominance was masked by a late run of scores from Jack Kennedy, Martin Kehoe and Kevin Fahey.
TIPPERARY: M O’Reilly; C O’Shaughnessy, J Feehan, S O’Connell; E Moloney (0-1), K Fahey (0-1), D Carew; L Boland, P Feehan (0-1); C Deely, J Kennedy (0-5, three frees), T Doyle (0-1); M O’Shea (0-1), L McGrath (0-1 free), P Maher (0-1).
Subs: D Leahy (0-1) for Deely and M Kehoe (0-1) for Boland (both h-t), D Brennan for O’Shea (53 mins), M Stokes for McGrath (54 mins), T Maher for Feehan (59 mins).
ANTRIM: M Byrne (0-2, one free, 0-1 45); O Lenehan, R Boyle, J McAuley; P Healy, J Finnegan, M Jordan (0-3); K Small, C Stewart (1-0); C McLarnon, P Finnegan, Rúairí McCann (0-2); R Murray (0-2, one free), Rúairí McCann (St Mary’s; 0-1), P Shivers (0-4).
Sub: O Eastwood (0-3) for Murray (30 mins), D McEnhill (0-2) for McLarnon (52 mins), J Dowling for Small (61 mins), C Duffin for Shivers (62 mins), S McGarry for McCann (St Mary’s, 69 mins).
Referee: B Griffin (Kerry)