Antrim and Derry must learn from mistakes – John Martin
THE more things change, the more they stay the same. Last weekend, two Ulster teams limped out of their respective Championships which will only give the ‘I told you so brigade’ more ammunition in their onslaught against the promotion of hurling.
It is easy to be disparaging of Jerry Wallace’s Antrim team, and Ger Rogan’s Derry men after their respective defeasts to Westmeath and London.
Both teams were expected to win, yet both teams lost.
Antrim took to the field at Mullingar and went diligently about their business in the first half and ammssed a five-point lead by half time 0-8 to 0-3.
So far so good we might have thought. Westmeath didn’t pick up their first score from play until injury time in the second half. This was a game that Antrim didn’t look like losing. Then again, in terms of sports, we have seen a number of late suprises this season.
Who would have predicted that John Terry would be lifting the Champions League trophy, or Carlos Tevez with the Premier League title in the soccer? Sport is, and always will be, surprising.
Show me a man who would have predicted a two point win for Westmeath at half-time and I’ll show you a man who should be selling out the Lyric theatre.
Yet that’s what happened. The straightforward answer to Antrim’s second half downfall is that they misfired in front of the posts. The records will tell you that just five players scored last Saturday. Only four points were scored in the second half. However, you can’t lose sight of the fact eight of Westmeath’s 14 points came from Niall O’Brien either.
What can we take from this, the pedants will say, Antrim were outscored by two points? But if we are looking at this game through a glass that’s half full, then we can see that Antrim could argue that they had a more even spread of scorers.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published Thursday May 24. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or click here to purchase the pdf for just 90p.