Fermanagh have come a long way in 12 months

Peter McGrath’s team will be confident despite losing same fixture last year

Fermanagh manager Peter McGrath: this year has seen an improvement in his team’s defence. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

There’s been a fair shift in the relative positions of the teams in the past 12 months since Antrim sprang an ambush to defeat the home team. Fermanagh have been promoted to Division Two, having topped the table, and if the divisional final against Armagh was disappointing they will feel confident about taking care of this fixture.

Manager Peter McGrath accepted that his first season had been a bit rushed by the time he was appointed and this year has seen improvement in Fermanagh’s defence, which conceded 2-18 in the corresponding fixture last year.

Furthermore, as pointed out this week by Paddy Heaney of the Irish News, 2-16 of Antrim's total was scored by five players, none of whom are available this year.

Antrim’s league season wasn’t a disaster, although they remain stuck in Division Four and they took promotion hopes all the way to the final fixture. CJ McGourty is fit and named on the team at corner forward but it’s at the other end that the pressure will come.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times