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Paddy McBride pain as Antrim are left staring at the backdoor

By Declan Bogue

Antrim have been forced into the backdoor route of the All-Ireland qualifiers after their defeat to Fermanagh at the weekend, with defender Paddy McBride admitting he has regrets.

The backdoor, he insists, wasn't something the Saffrons had truly considered.

"It was never mentioned because I think we all believed that we could go on a run in the Championship," the St John's man revealed. "I still believe that we have the team to do that.

"Now that we are in it, we are disappointed. But we are in it and we have to make a push. We have to look at it one game at a time."

As mentioned by manager Frankie Fitzsimmons, McBride agrees that the loss of Niall McKeever prior to the game against the Ernemen did huge damage to the morale of the group.

He said: "We were down a really good player in midfield. Mark Sweeney is a brilliant player too, but it would have been good to match up to big Eoin Donnelly as well.

"It's not the way we felt we would have performed. I actually felt that although we were coming in as underdogs, we were going to win. We all felt that."

They did mount something of a comeback and came within a kick of the ball from their opposition, but Sean Quigley's goal and Fermanagh's more ruthless edge ultimately decided the game.

McBride added: "We were coming back and that goal killed us off in the end. Only for that goal, I would say we might have kept the scoreboard ticking over."

Belfast Telegraph


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