Hurling League Division 1B: Wexford 1-24 2-20 Antrim

Antrim hurling manager Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan's Antrim side were edged out after producing a brave second-half rally at Wexford Park

Antrim's second-half fight-back fell just short as they were edged out 1-24 to 2-20 by 14-man Wexford in the Division 1B Hurling League opener.

Paul Shiels's goal helped the Saffrons lead 1-3 to 0-5 but Liam Og McGovern netted to help the home side take a 1-12 to 1-9 half-time advantage.

Wexford dominated after half-time to move into a 1-21 to 1-13 advantage.

Antrim hit 1-6 without reply to lead by one - helped by a Ciaran Clarke goal - but Wexford fought back to win.

Harry Kehoe's point put Wexford ahead again although the Saffrons had chances to level late on with one shot coming back off an upright and other effort going narrowly wide.

Wexford had captain Tomas Waters had been sent off midway through the first half at Wexford Park after he was adjudged to have committed a dangerous pull on Eddie McCloskey.

Neil McManus fired over a series of superb points as he also produced a fine display in midfield.

Shiels was also excellent for Antrim and while the Saffrons went away empty-handed it was a considerable improvement on their 5-19 to 0-21 Leinster Championship defeat by the same opposition last June.

Daniel McKernan and Shiels were on target for Antrim early on as Wexford lead 0-5 to 0-3 before Shiels's goal edged the Saffrons ahead as he latched on to a long ball from McManus.

McGovern's goal helped Wexford move 1-9 to 1-7 ahead but the home side were then rocked by the dismissal of their skipper Waters.

The Saffrons hit the next two scores to level but Wexford regrouped to lead 1-12 to 1-9 at the interval.

Wexford dominated the 15 minutes after half-time to extend their advantage to 1-21 to 1-13 with McGovern, Daithi Waters, Jack Guiney and the impressive Lee Chin among their scorers.

However, Kevin Ryan's side responded brilliantly by firing an unanswered 1-6 as Clarke's 63rd-minute goal edged them into a 2-19 to 1-21 lead.

But Wexford knocked over three of the last four scores to snatch a one-point victory as Antrim rued their couple of late misses.

Allianz Hurling League results

Division 1A

Dublin 2-20 0-14 Tipperary

Galway 2-15 1-17 Clare

Division 1B

Wexford 1-24 2-20 Antrim

Division 2A

Kerry 0-14 0-14 Derry

Westmeath 2-20 1-06 London

Carlow 3-17 1-06 Wicklow

Division 2B

Down 1-13 0-09 Armagh

Donegal 1-12 3-13 Mayo

Meath 0-14 0-24 Kildare

Division 3A

Roscommon 1-21 1-09 Louth

Fermanagh 1-16 3-13 Fingal

Tyrone 1-13 2-10 Monaghan

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