Cian O’Sullivan rescues draw for Dublin to deny Antrim a winning return

Late drama at Corrigan Park in Belfast as late 65 squares things up in Leinster opener

Antrim 1-19 Dublin 1-19

Cian O’Sullivan rescued a draw for Dublin at Corrigan Park on Saturday in the opening round of the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship to deny Antrim a winning start on their return to the competition.

Antrim flew out of the traps and on eight minutes had the ball in the net after Conor Johnston batted home when Seán Elliott’s initial effort was saved by Dublin goalkeeper Seán Brennan to make it 1-4 to 0-2.

Conal Cunning and Gerard Walsh were on target for the hosts with Dónal Burke and O’Sullivan carrying the fight for the Dubs who began to steady. The visitors rattled off four points on the spin to narrow the gap, but Antrim responded and were 1-11 to 0-12 ahead at the break.

The rain poured in the second half as Antrim again made the better start with five of the opening six points, including one from man-of-the-match Paddy Burke, to put them in the box seat.


But back Dublin came and after Burke was off-target with a couple of frees, he rediscovered his range. And with the gap two on 67 minutes, he took a pass from substitute Seán Currie to rattle the Antrim net.

But Antrim stayed with it, Cunning knocking over a free and then in stoppage-time, Paul Boyle floated over what the home support hoped was the winner.

But there was time for late drama as Conall Bohill recovered superbly to deny O’Sullivan a goal with a block out for a 65 that Burke floated in and this time, O’Sullivan opted to take his point to rescue a draw.

ANTRIM: R Elliott; P Burke (0-1), R McGarry, N O’Connor; G Walsh (0-3, three frees), E Campbell, C Bohill; M Bradley (0-2), J McNaughton; S Elliott (0-2, one s/l), K Molloy (0-1), N Elliott; C Cunning (0-9, six frees), N McManus, C Johnston (1-0).

Subs: J Maskey for N Elliott (28 mins); E O’Neill for K Molloy (62); P Boyle (0-1) for C Johnston (66); D Nugent for J McNaughton (69); R McMullan for M Bradley (70+3).

DUBLIN: S Brennan; M Grogan, E O’Donnell, P Smyth; P Doyle, C Burke, D Gray (0-1); C Donohoe, C O’Leary; D Sutcliffe, D Burke (1-9, six frees, two 65s), C Boland (0-1); A Considine (0-1), C O’Sullivan (0-6, one s/l), P Crummey (0-1).

Subs: R Hayes for A Considine (48 mins); S Currie for P Crummey (56); D Power for C Boland (60).

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).