Antrim ‘played Fermanagh off the field, ripped them apart’, says Bradley
The Antrim manager believes his side were well worth their victory in Brewster Park
Antrim manager Liam Bradley: “People like to see open, free-flowing football, and the Ulster championship doesn’t always see that.” Photograph: Inpho
Liam Bradley was not overly exaggerating when declaring his Antrim team had “played Fermanagh off the field, ripped them apart”, at least for long enough to have won this game by more than two points.
He wasn’t exaggerating either when suggesting it would have been “a real travesty if Fermanagh had sneaked there at the end”.
“People like to see open, free-flowing football, and the Ulster championship doesn’t always see that,” he said. But anybody here today certainly got their money worth of it.
“Donegal are a big step up, but we’ll see. We’ll have to come up with something different again, but we feel we have some good players. Donegal will be hot favourites, but we’ll go flat out for it.”
Nor was Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath exaggerating when agreeing that Antrim had “ripped us apart for much of the first half, and for much of the second half too”. But then look at how it finished up.
“We still came within a whisker of winning the game,” said McGrath, “so I would have to give my lads tremendous credit, for hanging in there. They will know that over the 70 minutes that they were nowhere near as good as they can be. We’ll try to address them, and will still look positively on the qualifiers.
“As a game it certainly had many twists and turns. No one could have scripted it. Antrim were certainly sharper for long periods, more cohesive, then got that purple patch. Mistakes at certain times prevented us maybe from getting us closer, and still. . . we could have conceivably won the match.”