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Lynch says Antrim’s future is still in their hands

National Football League Division four

Antrim v London

Sunday, Ruislip, 2pm

BY RONAN SCOTT

Declan Lynch says that Antrim’s future remains in their own hands despite last weekend’s defeat to Sligo.

Antrim are bidding to gain promotion to division three, a goal they are desperate to achieve after missing out for the past few years.

Having won their opening game comfortably against Wexford, Antrim lost to Sligo last weekend by a single point.

Lynch explained what went wrong, and pointed out what they have to do to address the problems.

We could have beat them. We missed two gaols chances in the first half. Two clear goal chances. It is something that we have got to learn.

Antrim are great at winning games when they are leading comfortably.

When we have to grind out results it gets harder. We know what the issues are. We can’t make any poor mistakes. We didn’t utilise our kick outs. Our forwards weren’t working hard enough and they weren’t making themselves available. But I include myself in that.

We know what we have to do.”

Lynch certainly wasn’t feeling sorry for himself.

In fact he was realistic about the situation, but also positive.

It is still in our hands. If we win the rest of our games then we will be promoted.

Sligo still have to play a lot of the top teams

But it is the toughest league to get out of.

We just have to concentrate on ourselves.”

Concentrating on themselves means turning their attention to London.

It’s perhaps the best game that they could have got coming off the back of that loss. London are the worst team in the division after two games.

The challenge for Antrim is that they have to go over to Ruislip to play them. That trip can sometimes be challenging for teams, as flights and the length of time taking to get there can be obstructive.

That won’t be the case for Antrim according to Lynch.

It would probably be quicker for us to get there than it would be to Sligo.

Look we are not taking a holiday. We are going over there to do a job. We want to get in and out with the two points.

If we win on Sunday then we are right back in it.”

Lynch said that there is a perception that the teams that are leading will continue to lead in the competition. He says that you can’t write off anyone.

I don’t think anyone expected Wexford to beat Carlow last weekend, but I knew that they were a good team. And that result shows you how good a result ours was (against Wexford in round one).”

Lynch operates in the half back line and is one of the regular starters in defence. Manager Lenny Harbinson has maintained a level of consistency in personnel in the back, which includes Ricky Johnston, Patrick Gallagher and Lynch. Peter Healy has returned too, and it looks like James McAuley is going to be a regular in half back.

Lynch said that settled group is a positive for Antrim.

If we can keep teams to 12 points or less we will be doing well. We have to stop giving away the easy scores, and the easy frees.

We have lost four or five players over the past few years but we are trying to build a platform. The lads who are there need to build a relationship.”

r.scott@gaeliclife.com

If we win on Sunday then we are right back in it.”

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