Co. Antrim started off their campaign in the Junior Section with a well deserved 1-0 victory against North Dublin SL (NDSL). The only goal of the game came midway through the second half and it was well taken effort from Connor Farrelly.
The early stages of this game saw a congested midfield battle with both teams struggling to get an upper hand.
The best of Antrim’s play was going through skipper Ethan Galbraith sitting just behind the striker. It was clear Antrim were trying to get him involved as much as possible but he was finding himself closed down very quickly.
In contrast, North Dublin tried to feed the ball wide to left winger Davidson Okosun and, in particular, right back Sean Enright. Enright made some marauding runs down the right flank giving the Antrim defence a tough time.
The 1st clear chance fell to Antrim and it was Galbraith who took advantage of some confusion in the NDSL defence, to hit a rasping shot which flew just wide of the post.
Antrim continued to press and Christopher Conn had a great chance to open the scoring but shot just wide. The county side began to dominate proceeding, with only a last ditch tackle from NDSL skipper Sean O’Rourke keeping Antrim at bay. There were further chances for Galbraith and Conn but NDSL were proving to be very strong in defence, with O’Rourke marshalling the backline impressively. The game was still deadlocked as the half time whistle blew.
Antrim started the second half well with a couple of good chances prompting NDSL to make 2 early subs, surprisingly replacing right back Sean Enright, who had been outstanding in the first half. After this change, NDSL did start to get back into the game with a lot of their best play coming down their left flank through Davidson Okosun.
However, their momentum was stopped in it’s tracks as a result of Farrelly’s goal following a great move down the left by the Antrim lads.
NDSL responded well, with a few good chances but poor finishing let them down and they just could not get back level. Farrelly should probably made it 2-0 after he produced some great skill from the left wing, only to shoot just over the bar.