Antrim Recap

by louthandproud on April 4, 2016

in County

We came, We Saw, We almost conquered.

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or did we?

In a weird way, I’ll miss Division 4, not for the on the pitch action but for the delights it brought off it.
Yesterday was no different.

St Johns

Whilst driving up the falls road and vigorously checking my google maps in case I’d go off course.
I was only delighted to find Corrigan Park with such ease and not only that, I was met with a genuine warmth I’ve not felt from any other away ground this season.

It is home to local side St Johns, one of (if not) the biggest clubs sides in Belfast.
Their stewarts were full of chat and information, telling me about their great U21 sides who won 3 in a row in Antrim and reached an ulster final.
In fact, as well as selector Gearoid Adams, three forwards out of the six named for Antrim were ‘johnnies’ (only one would start however) but I was told to look out for forward Matt Fitzpatrick.

Upon heading off to my spot on the bank, I complimented them on their fine clubhouse and the stewart laughed and then whispered one of the ‘locals’ burnt the old one down.

You could sense the beaming community in the place, a lot more than the troubles.  That spoke volumes.

Hands Up

With county league games on the night before involving 11 of the squad it was always going to be experiment time for CK.

NO Surprise that only 3 that started against Wexford, started yesterday.
The three were Cian Doyle Tommy D and Anthony Williams.

A couple of these ‘experiments’ certainly put their hands up for the next day.

-You can see why Ruairi Moore is consistently coming on as an option off the bench. He impressed with his workrate and willingness to get on the ball. his mobility could be a factor in Croker.

-We did play sweeper, but not in the fashion we usually do. Debutant Robbie Curran was 6 and he dropped off to great effect more so than sweeping. Confident chap and certainly has the talent to wear the jersey for years like his Dad, Gerry. Kicked a nice pointed free on his debut certainly now an option for the final.

-Other Fringe players that benefited were Colm Judge, John Bingham and Gea McSorley. Certain aspects of their play was a gentle reminder to Colin Kelly in a not so gentle way that I should be starting!

I’d start Gea McSorley the next day, I’ll keep my reasons close to my chest and will enclose nearer the final.

The biggest hands up on the day was the fact we played a much weakened side and still competed very highly. Roche men David Quigley and Dan O’Connell stood up too had a fine battle with their main forward Kevin Niblock and well known midfielder Niall McKeever.

Leaving their with a draw, spoke wonders of the spirit and level of talent in this Louth group at the moment.

We didn’t show our hand in defence or going forward which was the real victory of the day.

Notaí

I took plenty of mental notes on the Antrim men they have talent, size and power.

I’ll have an ‘opposition’ report before the final that will reflect a lot of yesterdays game.

I really got the sense that they are beatable a lot more beatable than I thought before going up to Belfast.

CK and the panel will feel that too.

Next Croke

19 days time, Saturday night in Croker we’ll meet again.

In a completely different set of conditions, environment, pressure and personnel.

The preparation begins now.

The excitement already has!

Book your seat on SUPPORTERS BUS to Croker on 23rd April for League Final v Louth.
Contact Gerry 087 7500414.

Sponsor LouthandProud

If you would like to sponsor www.louthandProud.com final coverage or if your business would just wish the boys best of luck: contact louthandproud@gmail.com or click the image below
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