Emma Kelley relieved as Antrim record first win of the season

Saffrons boss forced to play in goals but happy that everything finally clicked for them

Antrim v Sligo ladies gaelic football
Antrim v Sligo Antrim's Eimilie Rogers-Duffy breaks through the Sligo defence during Sunday's Lidl National League Division Three match at PICTURE: MAL MCCANN (Mal McCann)

ANTRIM manager Emma Kelly was relieved to finally record their first win of the season following their 2-15 to 3-6 defeat of Sligo at the weekend.

It moved them off the bottom of the table, but they are still in the relegation zone with two games left to play against joint leaders Clare and Roscommon. If they are to avoid making an immediate return to the fourth division victories in both and other results to go their way will be required.

They left it late to get the win, goals from Hanna Donaghy and Ana Muholland giving them the three points when it looked like the sides would have to settle for a draw.

However, it was what they deserved, Kelly felt, having created lots of chances.

“We are happy that we got across the line. The last few games we were really disappointed with our last 15 minutes and controlling the game and letting things slip away,” aid Kelly, who had to dust down the boots and play in goals after finding themselves without a goalkeeper.

“Our game management has been poor, so it was really good to get across the line on Sunday.

“It was nip and tuck but at the same time we were creating a lot of chances, but our downfall again was that our scoring efficiency was not there at all, we just weren’t finishing the chances we were getting.

“We hit the post three or four times in the first half, shot straight at the keeper, but again it’s a young team, it’s a new squad and I’m proud that they dug deep.

“We had no cover so I had to step in. It was a bit of a hinderance, but a help at the same time in a way as I was on the pitch and was able to organise, keep the girls calm and keep talking to them.

“Not an ideal situation and I’m hoping we can get something sorted before the next couple of games.”

Kelly knows that they can only control the controllables with regards to their division three fate - their own remaining games.

“We can only go out and try to win our last two games and we know that we will have done all that we can. Obviously, we are also hoping that other results go in our favour.

“It is something that we will be kicking ourselves if we don’t stay up as we threw away a couple of games at the start of the league, but it’s a learning process, it’s transition year. We will be disappointed if we drop to division four but what can you do.

“The girls have been putting in 100 per cent but it just has not been clicking on the pitch for us for whatever reason. It’s a positive and the monkey off our back and a bit of belief going forward,” she added.