Where now for Saffrons?
“I don’t fear Galway and nor should my players.”
Those were the words of then Antrim manager Jerry Wallace to our hurling columnist John Martin in the lead up to their Leinster championship opener with Westmeath – a match that would lead to a purge that left the Munster man out of a job and hurling in the county on its knees.
They never got the chance to play against the Tribesmen, self-combusting in the second half against 14-men Westmeath. When things are so low you really appreciate small mercies. On Sunday, Galway were 10-point winners over the seemingly unbeatable Kilkenny in the Leinster final. Small mercies.
Too strong for Ulster, too weak for the top level – Antrim hurling finds itself in a state of purgatory at the moment, and the weekend’s Ulster title does little to hide the fact that there’s a holy mess in the county.
While the month of June, and the countless black marks that it brought, showed the problems the Saffrons faced, July, and their hammering of Derry in the Ulster final at Casement Park at the weekend, demonstrated that the rest of the province is still a long way off taking advantage.
The Ulster final is just as damning an indictment of the rest of Ulster.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday July 12. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here