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Cahill up front about Antrim’s promotion bid

By John Campbell

Antrim manager Dinny Cahill was left in no doubt after his team’s opening fixture in the National Hurling League against Carlow that much more punch will be required up front if promotion from Division Two is to be viewed as a realistic target.

His defence may have conceded 2-7 against the Barrowsiders but Cahill is rather more concerned about profligacy up front particularly as his team must confront Kildare on Sunday in Newbridge before the even more demanding tasks against teams like Wexford and Clare.

“We are essentially a young side and it’s important that we get into a winning groove to sustain morale,” points out Cahill.

“Carlow were very sticky opponents but we got past them in the end. These are the kind of games you have to win and now we must go and face a Kildare side that has been showing a big improvement under Andy Comerford.”

Comerford, who won All Ireland honours with his native Kilkenny, has injected fresh confidence into Kildare.

Not only that but he has brought in five new players four of whom have played for Kilkenny at different levels and another from Tipperary.

Having been designated as a ‘weaker’ county, Kildare are entitled to field a quota of ‘non-natives’ and Comerford is making use of that. That means that Antrim will require to be on their toes at Newbridge on Sunday when they bid to make it back-to-back victories.

Neil McGarry was a late call-up against Carlow last week and is likely to be retained while Aaron Graffin, Karl McKeegan and Ciaran Herron bring skill and experience to the Saffrons’ rearguard.

Cahill’s concerns in relation to his attack centre on their finishing. Shane McNaughton and Thomas McCann though are showing up well while Liam Watson is expected to become much sharper as he gets more matches under his belt. The enigmatic Loughguile clubman scored for Donegal Celtic in their 5-0 win ed in the Intermediate Cup last Saturday and then drilled over the winning point in the 68th minute for Antrim against Carlow the following day.

Belfast Telegraph

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