GAA Football

How the Antrim players rated against Tyrone

Patrick McCormick put in a good shift and scored a fine goal on Saturday night. Picture: Seamus Loughran.
Andy Watters

Padraig Nugent: Had little chance with either of Tyrone's goals. Kick-out strategy in the first half was to go for distance, in the second when he opted to go short and even came out the field himself a couple of times. Sent a ‘45' wide. 5.5

Patrick McCormick: Put in a good shift and scored a goal to tell the grandkids about with a calm finish after a pacey forward break. Picked up Niall Sludden and limited him to a point but lost Connor McAliskey for Tyrone's second goal. 5.5

Ricky Johnston: Struggled to contain Cathal McShane who was once again immense at full-forward for Tyrone. Johnston stuck to his task but McShane was too mobile for him and finished with six points. Started the move which led to Fitzpatrick's goal. 5

Patrick Gallagher: Tracked Mattie Donnelly who made the game look ridiculously easy at times. Gallagher kept going and tried hard until the end. 5

Paddy McBride: Always a potent attacking outlet, he showcased his quality and pace. Involved in Fitzpatrick's goal and could have had two of his own. Converted two frees, missed a couple as well. 6.5

Declan Lynch: In the eye of the Tyrone storm as sweeper in front of full-back Johnston. Penalised for over-carrying and then caught in possession – both from short kick-outs - as he tried get on the ball in the second half and get his team moving forward. 5.5

Niall Delargy: Started on Peter Harte and the Tyrone playmaker gave him a torrid time with his movement and pace. Also picked up Connor McAliskey when he was introduced. Tried hard but it was a tough evening's work. 5

Colum Duffin: Two shots dropped short. He was unable to make an impact around the middle of the field where Tyrone took command. Worked hard and won a free for a Ryan Murray point. 5

Stephen Beatty: Passing was off target at times. Up against Ben McDonnell and he put himself about but struggled to break the Tyrone stranglehold on the midfield. 5

James McAuley: Encouraging Championship debut for the man who captained St Enda's to the Ulster Intermediate title. Scored an excellent early point with a confident run and fine finish. Tackled hard and used the ball well. 6

Matt Fitzpatrick: The outstanding Antrim player. Had Rory Brennan for company but at times in the first half it looked like Fitzpatrick was taking on Tyrone by himself. Never dropped the head, he set up the Saffrons' first goal and scored the second himself. 7.5

Kevin Quinn: Had his hands full with Tiarnan McCann. Retreated to help out in defence and McCann followed him and bagged a first half goal. Carried the ball with pace at times and he'll have better days in the Antrim jersey. 5

Ryan Murray: Top-scored with six points and came into his own in the second half when he was given licence to roam out the field and saw more of the ball. Class score from play in the first half. 6.5

James Smith: Committed but had to follow marker Padraig Hampsey back to his own full-back line to get a rare touch of the ball. Struggled to make an impact and was substituted at half-time. 5

Odhran Eastwood: Showed bravely at times but couldn't get on the ball enough up front and was switched back to help out his defence early in the second half. Subbed after 45 minutes. 5

Substitutes:

Ryan McNulty: On for Smith at half-time and operated in midfield. Well shackled by Frank Burns. 5

Eunan Walsh: Put himself about well after coming in 10 minutes into the second half and made a couple of vital interceptions. Shadowed McCurry, then Coney and will push for a starting spot next time out. 6

Ruairi Scott: Replaced Kevin Quinn and slotted into the midfield battle. Unable to turn the tide. 5

Michael McCarry: Operated as sweeper after being introduced with 15 minutes to go. Fought until the end. 5

Jay Mallon: Replaced McAuley for the closing stages. Not on long enough to be rated.

Conor Mallon: Not on long enough to be rated.

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