Antrim manager Dinny Cahill believes that his team have a chance of making further headway in the All-Ireland hurling championship now that they have been drawn against Limerick in the next phase of the qualifiers.
The Saffrons, who landed their tenth Ulster title in succession at the expense of Armagh yesterday, have already beaten Westmeath and Carlow in the qualifiers but Limerick will be a big step up for them.
Limerick showed grit and composure in overcoming Wexford by 1-22 to 2-13 on Saturday — a result that saw Wexford bos Colm Bonner tender his resignation
after the game. The GAA was again left with egg on its face as insufficient turnstiles had been opened to cater for the big crowd with the result that the match started 12 minutes late.
Cahill will have his players fired up for battle once more.
“The heat is really on now in the All-Ireland series and we face a big test against Limerick but we are up for it,” insists Cahill who rested several of his more experienced players yesterday in readiness for Saturday’s showdown with the Shannonsiders.
Declan Hannon and Graham Mulcahy are now expected to pose a big threat to the Saffrons defence when they line out in the Limerick attack but Cahill points to the belief that his side have acquired through their recent run of victories in the wake of their Leinster championship setback against Wexford.
“If we play for the whole game against Limerick the way we played in the first-half against Wexford we might not be too far away,” says Cahill.
In the other qualifier, Galway will take on Cork, a match that will generate huge interest following Galway’s emphatic 4-25 to 0-20 victory over Clare at the weekend.
The Galway full-forward line of Damien Hayes, Joe Canning and Alan Kerins scored 3-14 of their total between them and with Ger Fraragher and Iarnan Tannian back in their line-up the Tribesmen looked a focused unit.