Curtain comes down on Antrim league campaign against Tipp

By Michael McMullan

ANTRIM’S chastening National League campaign comes to a conclusion this weekend with the visit of Tipperary.

The Saffrons have yet to register a point in the campaign and Darren Gleeson’s faces his native county in the back of a disappointing defeat in Westmeath.

They were seconds away from defeating Dublin and would’ve felt they were well placed for last weekend’s trip to Mullingar.

For Liam Cahill’s side, who are level on points with Galway, they need a win to guarantee a semi-final spot.

Antrim’s focus will be on a performance and seeing how many questions they can ask of Tipperary. Further down the line, the Saffrons face into Leinster Championship action against Kilkenny, Wexford, Dublin, Galway and Carlow – in that order.

In the absence of attacking trio Neil McManus, Seaan Elliott and Keelan Molloy, it has been Conal Cunning who has been carrying the burden up front.

Joe McLaughlin missed last weekend’s defeat due to u-20 action against Derry in Belfast and he’ll be out again wth St Killian’s Garron Tower in the Paddy Buggy final on Saturday also.

By the time the championship rolls around, Gleeson will hope for a stronger hand.

For now, it’s about polishing their game ahead of the visit of Tipperary. They battled hard against Westmeath but didn’t have the cutting edge to add to their 1-15 tally.

To the teams outside the handful with realistic aspirations of an All-Ireland, the top flight is a place for having your full hand to pick from. Antrim don’t have that and they’ll have to soldier on for another week and hope their training camp can bring a bit of pep to the championship arena.

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