Antrim get their first qualifier win in 10 years by beating an average Westmeath side.
Antrim 0-16 1-07 Westmeath, Casement Park, FT
70+2 Antrim get another point and the ref blows for full time.
70+1 Pat Flanagan sent to the stands by Martin Sludden.
70min Paddy C leaves Antrim five up.
68min Westmeath point, they are three down with three to play.
64min Westmeath will need a goal, they are just not getting enough chances.
58min Tomas with latest point from 45′ for Antrim they are now four up.
56min Antrim go three up.
47min Antrim extend the lead to two.
46min The teams share scores.
44min Westmeath get back level.
39min Heslin point for Westmeath to leave them one down.
38min Westmeath will be needing goals in the second half to have any chance.
32min Brendan Murtagh point for Westmeath.
30min John Heslin hits Westmeath first score in 25min.
28min O’Boyle free for Antrim leaves them four up.
25min Two quick points for Antrim leaves them three up, Kevin Niblock point for Antrim.
23min Michael McCann looked to be in for a goal for Antrim but he pulled a hamstring, very unlucky.
19min Antrim take the lead after 19min, Been 16min since Westmeath scored, they are missing Dessie Dolan.
16min Four points in a row for Antrim who are now level after a Herron point.
15min Wides from both teams.
10min Murray point for Antrim gets them back to within one point.
7min Antrim get two quick points to get back into the match
5min Antrim look shocked after a great start for Westmeath.
2min Great start for Westmeath Jason Dolan gets goal.
2min Heslin get the first point for Westmeath
0min Paul Greville starts instead of Dessie Dolan for Westmeath. Paddy Cunningham and Mark Sweeney out for Antriim
0min Antrim manager Liam Bradley will be able to call on the services of goalkeeper Sean O’Neill for Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Westmeath after being released by Irish League outfit Crusaders.
There were fears that O’Neill might not be allowed to line out for the Saffrons due to his soccer commitments, but Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter had given him the green light to play in the Casement Park tie. However, was O’Neill to pick up an injury, he could miss out on the north Belfast club’s glamour Europa League clash with Fulham next month.
“Since the Fulham draw has come out, he may look at that and think ‘I can’t take the chance’. If he came to me and said ‘this is really, really important and I need to play’, then I would tell him to go and play, if that’s what his heart is telling him,” Baxter was quoted as saying in the Irish News.
“When we signed Sean, he told me he would step back from the Gaelic and wouldn’t play. He told me that he’d been doubling up on both sports and I asked him, going forward, where he saw that. I told him that if he signed, we’d need him to step back from that, and he said that wouldn’t be a problem.”
Meanwhile, Saturday’s oppinent’s Westmeath have reacted to his side’s heavy Leinster SFC defeat to Wexford by making four changes for the All-Ireland qualifier in Casement Park.
Under 21s James Dolan and John Heslin are promoted to the starting 15 along with Micheal Curley and fit-again midfielder David Duffy, who has missed most of the season through injury. The players to make way are Francis Boyle (injured), Paul Sharry, David Glennon and dual star Paul Greville.
Mullingar Shamrocks clubman Curley replaces Boyle in a full back line which sees Aidan Finnan switch inside to full back and Kieran Gavin move to the left corner. Denis Corroon moves from midfield to right half back with James Dolan coming in on the left flank, and Ger Egan and Doran Harte switching to a completely new half forward line that also features Heslin.
Left half forward against Wexford, Conor Lynam joins Denis Glennon and Dessie Dolan in a potent-looking full forward line. Both Dolan and Kieran Gavin sat out last Friday’s challenge match win over Longford , but have recovered from their respective knocks to start.