Louth's Bevan Duffy and Patrick McCormick of Antrim during tonight's All-Ireland SFC qualifier in Drogheda. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Louth 1-11 Antrim 2-16
Louth bowed out of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers tonight, losing comprehensively at home to Antrim.
Despite leading 1-5 to 0-2 after 15 minutes, with Andy McDonnell bagging the three-pointer, the Reds conceded two goals - both scored by Matthew Fitzpatrick - before half-time and trailed 2-5 to 1-7 at the turnaround.
Eoghan Duffy hit the post early in the second half as Louth opened brightly, but Antrim hit three of the first five points before a six-point run to no reply saw Lenny Harbinson's men coast eight clear.
Louth finished with 13 players - Fergal Sheekey and Declan Byrne seeing red - as the misery was compounded through late Antrim points.
Eight was the difference at the finish, Louth football is simply at its lowest ebb.
Louth: Fergal Sheekey; Daniel Corcoran, Fergal Donohoe, James Craven; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy (0-1), John Clutterbuck (0-1); Tommy Durnin (0-1), James Califf; Declan Byrne (0-2), Ciarán Downey (0-1), Conall McKeever (0-1); Andy McDonnell (1-1), Sam Mulroy, Ryan Burns (0-2, frees)
Subs: Eoghan Duffy for McDonnell (HT), Conor Early for Califf (48), Ronan Holcroft for Downey (49), Emmet Carolan (0-1) for Craven (56), Conor Grimes for Mulroy (63), Craig Lynch for Clutterbuck (64)
Antrim: Pádraig Nugent; Patrick McCormick (0-1), Ricky Johnston, Patrick Gallagher; James McAuley, Declan Lynch, Niall Delargy (0-1); Colum Duffin (0-2), Stephen Beatty; Kevin Quinn, Matthew Fitzpatrick (2-1), Patrick McBride; Ryan Murray (0-6, one free), Michael McCarry, Eunan Walsh (0-1, free)
Subs: Ryan McNulty for McAuley (5), Conor Murray for McCarry (HT), Ruairí Scott (0-2) for Beatty (49), Fintan Burke for Quinn (64), James Smith for Duffin (68), Patrick Branagan for Delargy (70)
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)
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