Treaty test for Saffrons

By Michael McMullan

ANDY McEntee begins a second league season in charge of Antrim with a trip to Limerick on Sunday (Rathkeale, 12.30pm).

Limerick were relegated from Division Two last season with their draw with Meath all they had to show for their efforts. They are now under the watch of new manager Jimmy Lee and Sunday’s visit of Antrim give an early indicator of both team’s promotion hopes.

In different circumstances, Antrim could’ve been going the other way. Narrow defeats to Ulster rivals Down and Fermanagh last season were games that got away. So too an opener against Offaly when the Saffrons were left scratching their heads.

A winter in the gym has Antrim in a better position physically and McEntee has added Tyrone All-Ireland winner Justin McMahon to his management team as a coach.

Defeats to Monaghan and Fermanagh, the latter by a point, were the extent of Antrim’s McKenna Cup run.

Eunan Walsh, Eunan Quinn, Joe Finnegan, Marc Jordan and both Ruairi McCanns were players he built his team around.

Former Derry u-20 player Oran Downey, now playing his club football with St Brigid’s, came into the fold after the club championship.

It’s going to be another competitive season with Down (H), Sligo (A) and Westmeath (H) as the crunch games to dictate if Antrim are in a promotion drive or a relegation battle.

If they can get something on their travels on Sunday, it would be a welcome start.

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