Sheehan urges Mournemen to lift the gloom with title glory
Down manager Ronan Sheehan does not mince his words ahead of tomorrow's Ulster Minor Hurling Championship final at Owenbeg (1.30pm).
"The sport is in a dark place as far as this province is concerned," insisted Sheehan. "There have been too many fixtures called off lately in different competitions which smacks of apathy and an indifferent attitude."
If anything, this has made his players even more determined to upset the odds and vanquish the Saffrons, who romped to a 4-23 to 3-11 semi-final win while the Mournemen were left kicking their heels after Armagh's late decision not to fulfil their commitment in the other semi.
Sheehan, however, believes they can still rise to the occasion.
Captain Eoin Coulter, Donal Og Rooney, Daithi Sands and the talented McCrickards, Conor and Ruairi, form the spine of a side that embodies pace and lively counter-attacking skills.
Antrim boast players of exciting potential in Keelan Molloy, Conor Cunning and Peter McCollum, yet Derry took them to extra-time in the last four.
"Antrim will always be favourites but I think we have the right attitude and spirit to cause them problems," maintained Sheehan.
"The U17 side were only beaten by Kilkenny in their decider and that says much for the headway they have made. They have set an example to follow."