Joe Kernan: Let’s get right behind Dinny’s Saffrons on their big day
If it had been suggested to me a couple of months ago that the Antrim hurlers would steal the thunder of their football brethren at the business end of the season I would not have been inclined to buy into this.
But the reality is that Liam Bradley’s side have bowed out of the All Ireland qualifiers yet Dinny Cahill’s men are still very much in the All Ireland hurling title frame.
They face a huge assignment against Cork on Sunday, though, in the All Ireland quarter-finals at Croke Park. And this being the case I think it behoves every Ulster person with the best interests of hurling here at heart to get behind the Saffrons.
They won the Ulster title by beating their great rivals Down and since then they have overcome Carlow and a fancied Dublin side in the qualifiers.
But Cork, despite still licking their psychological wounds following their Munster final defeat by Waterford last Saturday, are a different animal altogether. Maybe they were forced to play second fiddle at provincial level but this might just make Cork all the more determined to regain their credibility on Sunday at Antrim’s expense.
The Cork hurlers of course found themselves hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the not too distant past when they withdrew their services following a dispute with the county board and right now they are not quite flavour of the month with their own fans after that Munster slip-up.
Antrim, who will go into this game with their confidence boosted, have shown resolve and skill in considerable quantities and if they can get off to a good start could certainly ruffle Cork’s feathers.