All-Ireland Qualifiers: Eoin points way for Antrim boss Bradley
Antrim manager Liam Bradley watched his son Eoin shoot Armagh out of the Ulster title race last Sunday and now he is hoping that his own players can replicate this sort of firepower against Westmeath in the All-Ireland Qualifiers on Saturday at Casement Park.
“Obviously as a Derry man I am happy to see the team through to the Ulster final but my whole focus now is on getting Antrim through this first round Qualifier. Westmeath will feel they have a big point to prove against us and we must be able to take our scoring chances,” states Bradley.
Westmeath’s 12-point defeat by Wexford in the Leinster championship has left manager Pat Flanagan with plenty of problems but Bradley is preoccupied with getting the best out of what will be a near full-strength Antrim side.
Sean Burke is an absentee because of injury but with Michael McCann fully fit again and Paddy Cunningham having looked sharper in recent challenge games the expectation is that the Saffrons can make it into round two.
Like Bradley, Down boss James McCartan and Fermanagh manager John O’Neill are anxious to get their teams back on track after championship losses to Armagh and Derry respectively.
McCartan will still be without Damien Rafferty, Gerard McCartan and perhaps Conor Garvey for the trip to Clare but there is peculation that Liam Doyle will get some game time.
Ernesiders’ boss O’Neill is without Barry Mulrone for the game against London which is a potential banana-skin for his side.
“London put up a great show against Mayo in the Connacht championship and will have taken heart from that,” says O’Neill.