Stigma, crocus and a day that was McCool

The Saffrons don’t see it often but today a resilient Antrim team took their game to Donegal on their home turf at MacCumhail Park .Leading for most of the match, outside a few minutes either side of half-time, they looked like a team wanting and believing in a win. In the final 15 they were getting there but never looked convinced it was possible until the whistle blew and it became real. As the dark horses head to a semi in Clones with Cavan, who scrambled a win against a poor Fermanagh, for the first time in many years Antrim surely have hopes of making the Ulster finals. And here endith the optimism.

  • Chris Donnelly

    We were fortunate enough to have Micky Harte bring the Sam Maguire and Minor All-Ireland champions’ trophy to the school several weeks ago. Asked by one of our Primary Seven lads what he thought was needed to bring Antrim up a level to make them competitive, he suggested that a sense of self-belief was missing in the county, and that, once that was overcome, Antrim could start to make tremendous strides.

    Very good performance, not least by the McCann boys. A bit of belief can work wonders with any team, and quite a few of the Antrim panel have had success at varsity level which no doubt lifted the inferiority complex which has plagued Antrim sides for a generation.

    Taken together with the League promotion, this already ranks as the best season for Antrim in a very long time, and hopefully a sign of good things to come.

    The CJ McGourty situation has also worked out ‘well’ for the manager (in the sense that a loss might’ve caused some to blame him for the fallout), and it will be interesting to see if there are any moves by Bradley to give the undoubtedly talented lad a chance to repent and rejoin the team ahead of the Cavan game (I doubt it though.)

    All in all, a great day for Antrim football!

    btw Where is our esteemed leader, Mick ‘Donegal’ Fealty?!?

  • Mark McGregor

    Chris,

    We had a half empty bus from St James. You up for Clones?

  • Mick Fealty

    Look I am pleased for Antrim. Tight defence and real heart, but the real deciding factor was the 17 wides from Donegal. Just about the worst Donegal performance I’ve seen in many years. And by far the best from Antrim since the 60s…

    Anyhow, I’ll be rooting for them against Cavan…

    I’ll be posting my lame excuses tomorrow morning when the sports press get a hold of it… They just never stood up to the occasion… Martin McHugh was too gutted to say anything useful about the game, but Jarlath Burns got it in one when he said they came expecting the game to fall into their laps…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    …and Kerry on the way down – my money is with with my good friend and investment advisor PP for Tyrone for the big one.

  • Pigeon Toes

    ” PP for Tyrone for the big one”

    Hopefully not..

  • Chris Donnelly

    Send me an email Mark with details. In meantime, definitely scouting our perspective final opposition at Casement next week…

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    An astonishing tally of wides, and even at that, Donegal should’ve squared it at the end.

    Still, the Qualifiers offer the promise of salvation…

  • Mark McGregor

    Excuse me. The Donegal wides were due to a strong group of backs forcing them to shoot from anywhere but in front and closing down options. Feckin’ begrudger Fealty.

  • RepublicanStones

    Great win for the Saffrons. Glad to see it. The fact McFadden didn’t chalk one up until 50 something minutes tells its own tale !

    Hopefully Antrim’s manager sons don’t bring their shooting boots next weekend at Casement – I’ll be there. Abú and the all the rest 😉

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Just to dive off topic for a moment – if Casement park were to be re-developed with decent capacity would either the GAA let them in or would Ulster Rugby agree to play there if it was the most suitable ground in terms of capacity?

  • Mick Fealty

    I knew someone would come back with that. And it’s partly true. But come on, 17? As I say, more lame excuses tomorrow.