Antrim crushed by Clare in All-Ireland Under-21 hurling semi-final

Antrim's Conor Laverty and Shane Golden of Clare
Antrim's Conor Laverty and Shane Golden of Clare

Antrim suffered a heavy defeat in the All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship semi-final with Clare easing to a 4-23 to 0-7 win at Thurles.

The Ulster champions were totally outclassed and never looked like causing an upset.

Conor McGrath scored two of Clare's goals with the others coming from Cathal McInerney and Niall McArthur.

Antrim boss Johnny McIntosh had made sweeping changes to the line-up which had beaten Derry in the Ulster final.

Kevin McKiernan and Michael Devlin were on target for the young Sasffrons in the opening half, but Clare struck for their first goal in the 19th minute when McInerney beat James O'Mullan with a firmly struck shot.

McGrath slipped in behind the Antrim defence to slip home Clare's second goal in stoppage time, giving them a 2-14 to 0-3 interval lead.

Six minutes into the second half, McGrath got in for his second goal and Niall Arthur added Clare's fourth.

Antrim did have a spell, during which they pulled back points through Conor Laverty, Eoin McAlonan and Devlin, but those scores were of little consolation on a painful afternoon for Antrim hurling.

Clare scorers: C McGrath 2-0, N Arthur 1-2 (0-1f), C McInerney 1-0, C O'Connell 0-7 (2f), T Kelly 0-4 (2 '65), P Collins, S Morey, A Cunningham 0-2 each, P O'Connor, S Golden, P Duggan, D O'Halloran 0-1 each.

Antrim scorers: M Devlin (1f), K McKiernan 0-2 each, J Black, E McAlonan, C Laverty 0-1 each.

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