GAA Football

Kevin Niblock, Sean McVeigh and Niall Delargy set for Antrim return

Antrim joint managers Gearoid Adams and Frank Fitzsimons. Picture by Seamus Loughran

ANTRIM could be boosted by the return of Kevin Niblock, Sean McVeigh and Niall Delargy for their meeting with Sligo on Sunday.

None of the trio has yet featured so far in the League because of injury but Niblock and Delargy are back in full training, while the Saffrons are hopeful Sean McVeigh has done enough to play some part against the buoyant Yeatsmen.

Sligo last week scored an impressive win away to last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Tipperary, and having taken a point off Armagh in their opener, the Connacht side looked well placed for a promotion push.

Antrim, meanwhile, are coming off the back of consecutive losses. Last week’s weak second half display in Offaly left them already scrapping for survival, having last season won promotion back to the third tier for the first time since 2013.

They trailed by two at half-time in their opening game with Tipperary, while there were five between Antrim and Offaly at the interval last weekend.

That they lost by five and 13 respectively is of grave concern to Adams, but he insists that it is not a fitness issue that is undoing his side.

”In a lot of these games where we’ve been blown out of the water in the second half, a lot of our undoing comes in the first half, where we should be closer to the team or away ahead of them.

“Against Tipperary, instead of being two points up, we should have been five or six points up. Against being four or five down against Offaly, despite playing bad, we should have been level.

“That’s one part of it. The second half performance against Offaly, they were playing into a wind and went for it, we backed off and made them look like Tyrone. That isn’t good enough.”

One thing that has played into the hands of joint Saffron bosses Gearoid Adams and Frank Fitzsimons is that results across the board have been unpredictable.

Offaly sit in third place in the table with just two points, ahead of Tipperary, Longford and Laois on points difference, while Armagh have just a single point from two games.

“The main priority now is to retain Division Three status. Ourselves and Sligo, apart from the last couple of years, have nearly mirrored each other, so we know each other quite well.

“They had a good win against Tipp last weekend and they’ll be looking to push on. After our performance against Offaly, we have to analyse ourselves first and work out what went wrong, and make sure it doesn’t happen the same way again.”

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GAA Football