Antrim footballers hope to back up promising win

By Niall Gartland

THE Saffrons need to thread carefully as they gear up for their round two Tailteann Cup match with an away trip to Wexford this Saturday.

While Wexford don’t look like they’re up to much on paper – they played in Division Four this year and failed to achieve promotion – the results show that they’re actually fairly competitive to Andy McEntee’s Antrim side need to be on their guard.

The Yellow Bellies really put it up to Sligo last weekend, losing by only six points, and they didn’t do too badly in Leinster all told, claiming a big win over Carlow before falling short against a solid Louth side in the quarters.

They have some tidy players well capable of causing bother to the Antrim defence, including Glen Malone, Sean Nolan and Kevin O’Grady, but by the same token they’ve been conceding too many goals and time will tell whether they can rectify that.

Antrim were in good form as they got their Tailteann Cup campaign off to a winning start against Tipperary last weekend on a scoreline of 4-12 to 2-13. Their pace and numbers they put into attacks caused problems with Patrick McAleer to the fore early on, while Ruairi McCann (Naomh Mhuire) showed good composure to bag two goals on the day.

Others to catch the eye included Declan Lynch, Joe Finnegan and Kavan Keenan, while Ryan McQuillan did extremely well in corner-forward and looks like a major asset to the Saffrons. Marc Jordan worked extremely hard for the cause, as ever, though they’ll be hoping that Paddy McAleer will recover in time for Saturday having been forced off with injury.

This could be a crucial tie for the Saffrons as they face a strong Sligo team in their third and final group stage match, and if they play to their potential, they should have enough to account for Wexford and to make it two wins on the trot.

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