Antrim manager Lenny Harbinson. Photo by Willie Donnellan
His team may have won by ten points but Lenny Harbinson was nevertheless a relieved man that his Antrim team had got the Allianz NFL Division 4 campaign off to a winning start against Leitrim.
Speaking after his team had defeated Leitrim 0-15 to 0-5 in Corrigan Park, Belfast (click here for match report), Harbinson admitted he was happy with the win - “I’m happy to get a good start because in this League, it is very important to try and get off to a winning start.”
And the Antrim boss firmly believes that there will be surprises in what he believes is a very tough Division 4 - “I really firmly believe anybody and everybody can take points off each other, it is a very competitive League, there is going to be a lot of twists and turns on this journey.”
Looking back on the game, Lenny expected a tough test from Brendan Guckian’s team - “It was very difficult conditions for both teams with a massive swirling breeze, it was nip and tuck, we knew it was going to be a big battle and that Leitrim would come here, particularly in the first half, and put it up to us, a young team and that is exactly what they did.
“We were maybe lucky enough to go in a couple of points up at halftime, it is very difficult to play against that swirling breeze and I think in the second half, it may have got stronger.”
Asked about the performance of the impressive Paddy McBride, Lenny cited local knowledge for some of the wing-forward’s incredible curling shots that went over the bar - “We have a number of very good accomplished footballers and Paddy is very accomplished on the ball. He got some great scores, this is his home pitch so he might have some inside knowledge.”
See this week's Leitrim Observer for more analysis and reaction from Corrigan Park.
Paddy McBride fires over an Antrim point despite Shane Quinn's attempted block. Photo by Willie Donnellan