ANTRIM HAVE TAKEN A LEAF OUT OF DONEGAL’S BOOK – RECKONS GIVNEY

24 May 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

MONAGHAN V ANTRIM
KEVIN CARNEY Reports

Is the Antrim squad that’s about to square up to Monaghan this Sunday a case of Donegal – lite? Cavan midfielder David Givney hints as much “Antrim play a bit similar to the way Donegal play so if anything good came out of our league defeat against them earlier this year, it’s that we got a trial run in terms of what we could expect against Donegal in the championship .” With just days to go before Monaghan take on Antrim at Clones (3.30pm) in this Sunday’s Ulster SFC quarter-final, the reflections of Cavan midfielder David Givney will hardly be lost on Eamonn McEneaney’s charges.
Just over a month ago, Givney generously paid tribute to Antrim’s achievement in blitzing the Breffni blues on home territory in the final round of the national league and provided an insight into what Monaghan may face this weekend.
“Like Donegal, Antrim dropped men back behind the ball, invited us on and then brought the ball forward with speed and picked us off,” says Givney who featured in Cavan’s 1-10 to 1-16 defeat to the Tir Chonaill men last Sunday at Kingspan/Breffni Park.
“They’re a fast-running, good skilful team with a lot of good ball players. They were deserving winners that day in the league even though they weren’t at full-strength either.”
It has to be said that that NFL win over Cavan was particularly impressive as Val Andrews’ men were playing for their survival in division three at that juncture.
Antrim travelled to Kingspan/Breffni Park and won (4-6 to 0-12) pulling up but thanks to Offaly’s failure to beat Tipp the same day, the Breffni blues survived the drop to the third division.
The Saffrons crashed home a hat-trick of goals in a four minute spell at the start of the second half – after leading by 1-4 to 0-5 – which left the Breffni men on the cusp of relegation.
Antrim boss Liam Bradley included six debutants in his starting line-up with Aodhan Gallagher’s 14th minute goal putting the visitors on the front foot.
Thereafter, Ulster ace James Loughry was the Saffrons spearhead with his 40th and 41st minute goals propelling his side into a 3-4 to 0-6 lead.
Cavan huffed and puffed thereafter to get on terms and even though Antrim’s Martin Johnson saw red on the hour mark, the visitors went onto win pulling up.
Both counties have produced indifferent form, albeit in different environments this year with Monaghan labouring in division two of the NFL before suffering relegation to the third tier where, ironically, they will be meeting the Saffrons next year.
In their Division Three campaign this year, Antrim recorded victories over Sligo in Casement Park, away to Tipperary, at home against Offaly, and that aforementioned victory away to Cavan while losing out to Roscommon away, Longford away and Wexford at home.
Antrim got promotion to division two of the NFL in 2009 and reached the Ulster SFC final a couple …

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