Antrim determined to control the controllables

By Shaun Casey

IT would be easy for Antrim to close their eyes and wish that results will go their way, but manager Emma Kelly insists her side will be doing all within their power to remain in Division Three when they take on Roscommon this weekend.

A win may not even be enough, they’ll need Sligo, who are bottom of the table, to beat Louth so that the three points secured by Antrim will see them leapfrog the Wee County. But the mathematics of it all are for after the game.

For now, the focus is purely on getting a result. “We have to focus on ourselves and there’s no point looking at the different scenarios,” said Kelly. “We’ve got slight fingertips still hanging on, so we have to get our grip back on it and we’ll take it from there then.

“We’ll have to just worry about ourselves and not worry about any of the other games. The best we can do is go out and try to get the win and see how it goes everywhere else.”

Roscommon have already qualified for the Division Three league final and captured promotion, but Kelly isn’t expecting any favours from the Connacht outfit when they travel north on Sunday.

“Roscommon are in the league final already, they’re already promoted. It’s basically a dead rubber for them but you just don’t know, Roscommon could still go strong and try to setup properly for the final,” added the Saffron boss.

“Or on the other hand they might just play their squad players, you don’t know. Either way, if I was a squad player and getting my chance in a game that is seen as a dead rubber, I’d want to go out and prove that I should be starting in the final.

“They’re all county players and no matter what team Roscommon decide to put out, they’re all going to be good. There’s no point hoping they put their second-string team out. It’s 15 against 15 and you have to be respectful that everybody is a senior county player.”

Antrim head into the game off the back of a 30-point drilling from table-toppers Clare last weekend, and Kelly said that her side must try to wipe that 10-7 to 0-7 defeat from their minds and concentrate on their upcoming contest.

“We’ll be trying to keep our heads up after last weekend and we still have a chance. We’ll be looking at the positives and at our own strengths and try to get a plan and a setup in place for this weekend.

“Obviously we’ll be planning on playing against Roscommon’s normal starting team. We’ll not be hoping they’ll play a weakened team because no matter what they’ll have the same setup.

“If someone is injured, they’ll have someone of the same quality to come in so we just have to try and get a setup to counteract theirs and see if we can get the scores to get across the line, but we’ll be focusing on ourselves.”

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