Antrim hurlers prepare for key clash

Published Wednesday, 28 March 2012
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Antrim's hurlers are one win away from the semi-finals of the Allianz National Football League, ahead of their clash against Limerick on Sunday.

Antrim hurlers prepare for key clash
Antrim's manager Jerry Wallace during the Wexford clash. (© Presseye)

The match at Casement Park will be a home tie for the players, but not for the manager.

Twice a week, Jerry Wallace makes a nine-hour round trip from his home in Midleton in Co Cork to Belfast to train the Antrim side.

"There was good will towards my placement here," the manager told UTV. "I said I would take it on board.

"Yeah, it's a difficult journey coming up and down but, when you're interested in the game of hurling and the promotion of the game of hurling, I think that doesn't even come into it.

"It's not a chore - this is enjoyment and long may it continue and long may the success continue for Antrim."

Last weekend, Antrim came back from 10 points down to beat Laois.

Now if they beat Limerick and Clare beat Offaly, they'll make the semi-finals - and Jerry has some inside information about the opposition.

He explained: "I had a passing interest in Limerick last year.

"I was the trainer there with Donal O'Grady, so I will be well aware of all the players that are coming here next Sunday from Limerick. So I'm hoping to put my guys in and match them up against Limerick on Sunday and we'll see if the best team can win.

"This is a great opportunity for these players to get more than a challenge match here next Sunday and it has the added spice that there's a national league final place at stake here.

"We can only take care of ourselves here, take care of the result here and hope that the result elsewhere goes for us and then, a week later, we would be contesting a league final against Clare - so isn't that positive for Antrim and for Ulster hurling?"

DD Quinn and Eddie McCloskey of Loughgiel will make their first starts of the season for Antrim against Limerick, returning after helping their club to victory over Coolderry in the Saint Patrick's Day All-Ireland club final.

The Saffrons currently sit fourth in the table, just a point behind Limerick.

Throw-in for Sunday's game at Casement Park is at 2.30pm.

Antrim Squad

DD Quinn, Aaron Graffin, Cormac Donnelly, Kieran McGourty, Neil McAuley, Neil McManus, Michael Gettens, Karl Stewart, Paul Shiels, Simon McCrory, Michael Herron, Eddie McCloskey, PJ O'Connell, Conor Carson, Shane McNaughton.

© UTV News
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