Fermanagh Ulster Minor Championship hopes were ended at the first hurdle today as they conceded five goals in a 5-10 to 2-08 defeat to Antrim.

The damage was done in the first half as Antrim went in at the break leading 3-05 to 0-02.

And although Fermanagh did battle gamely in the second half, Antrim remained in control to run out comfortable victors.

Fermanagh got off to a disastrous start to the contest as Antrim centre half forward Conor Small raced through the middle to plant the ball in the back of the net after only 15 seconds.

And matters got even worse for the Ernemen as centre back Cian McManus was shown a black card for blocking off in the lead up to the goal.

Antrim were to boss things throughout the first half although they were wasteful at times, kicking a number of wides in the opening period.

Small did add to their lead with a point from distance before Fermanagh got off the mark in the 14th minute with a Shane Rooney point.

Saffrons midfielder Ruairi Scott, who scored 1-05 over the course of the contest, and Matthew McGrade traded points from frees before Antrim powered into a strong advantage.

James McAuley landed a point, Scott converted a '45 and Small was to palm home his second goal to make it 0-02 to 2-04.

And there was further joy for Antrim in added on time at the end of the first half as Scott rifled to the corner while Seamus McGarry clipped over a free to leave Antrim 12 points clear at the break, 0-02 to 3-05.

Fermanagh opened the scoring in the second half through a McGrade free but Antrim were soon to breach the home side's rearguard once again as James McAuley this time found the back of the net.

Fermanagh did have their best spell of the game after this as Liam Maguire, Garvan Jones and Conor McAuley fired over points while JJ O'Brien bagged a goal. And when Maguire tapped home from close range, they were back to within six points, 4-08 to 2-08, with five to go.

Antrim though finished strongly with substitute Ben Rice finding the net as they ran out convincing winners.