Hurling League Division 2A: Thirteen-man Antrim beat Mayo by 20 points

Nigel Elliott scored two goals for Antrim before being sent-off
Nigel Elliott scored two goals for Antrim before being sent-off

Thirteen-man Antrim hammered Mayo by 20 points in their Hurling League Division 2A encounter at Ballina on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of promotion.

Nigel Elliott scored two first-half goals before being sent-off midway through the second period.

Ciaran Clarke and Ryan McCambridge also netted in the first half, with James McNaughton adding the Saffrons' fifth.

Antrim were in control at 4-12 to 0-5 at the break despite having Eoghan Campbell red-carded after 25 minutes.

Points from Eoin O'Neill, the impressive McNaughton and Nicky McKeague set Antrim on their way at James Stephens Park before Elliott smashed home from close range in the fifth minute to make it 1-3 without reply.

Clarke and McCambridge found the net in the ninth and 16th minutes as the scores continued to flow and Elliott further emphasised his side's superiority by completing his double three minutes before half-time.

Antrim have two sent-off

Campbell received a straight red card for a late hit on Patrick Kiely and Elliott became the second Saffron to see red when he was sent-off by referee James Conners.

McNaughton executed a great run and finish for Antrim's fifth goal.

Antrim's promotion ambitions had suffered a major setback last weekend when they were edged out 1-17 to 1-15 by table-toppers Westmeath.

Westmeath defeated Meath 1-20 to 0-20 in Sunday's other Division 2A fixture, maintaining the leaders' 100% winning record after four matches.

Antrim lost their opener against Kerry before narrowly beating Meath in their second game.

Their victory over Mayo sees them move up to third place in the division.

The top two teams in the six-strong division at the end of the round robin games will play off to earn a promotion place.

Scorers

Mayo: S Boland (0-7, 6f ), S Coyne (0-2 ), D Huane (0-1 ), J Gallagher (0-1 ), E Ryan (0-1 ), C Phillips (0-1 )

Antrim: J McNaughton (1-9, 0-7f ), N Elliot (2-0 ), R McCambridge (1-1 ), C Clarke (1-1 ), N McKeague (0-34 1f ), E O'Neill (0-1 ), C McCann (0-1 ), J O'Connell (0-1, 1f )