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Dónal Óg Cusack: Antrim will suffer “a lot of beatings” in Liam MacCarthy next year

donal og cusack antrim

“I would worry that they’re going to suffer a lot of beatings based on what we’ve seen there today.”

It was a brilliant day for Antrim hurling on Sunday as they won the Joe McDonagh Cup, beating Kerry 0-22 to 1-17. The win means they will now compete for the Liam MacCarthy in 2021.

However, despite the win, Dónal Óg Cusack wasn’t impressed with Antrim’s performance.

antrim joe mcdonagh

Dónal Óg Cusack’s Antrim comments.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, the former Cork goalkeeper was critical of the Saffrons. He worries that, if they put in a similar performance next year, they will suffer a lot of heavy defeats.

“Everybody would love to see a strong Antrim,” he said.

“Imagine Casement Park full for a big game against one of the bigger teams, but I don’t want to be patronising towards them. That performance today would suggest that they are going to struggle next year.”

The three-time All-Ireland winner didn’t hold back, comparing it to a boxer going up a weight division.

“It almost reminded me of a boxer going up a division and just not having the weight to match the ambition.

“They have the population, they have the passion for hurling. Hopefully they will benefit from their time up there. But, I would worry that they are going to suffer a lot of beatings based on that performance today.”

antrim joe mcdonagh

Ciaran Kearney.

However, a lot of Antrim people were unhappy with the comments. Particularly, coming directly after the Ulster side’s hard fought promotion back to hurling’s top table. Northern Ireland’s Sports Forum chief Ciaran Kearney felt Cork’s minor hurling manager didn’t take into account Antrim’s performances up to that final.

He tweeted: “Issue with these comments from Dónal Óg Cusack is that they may be based on today’s performance alone and not the outstanding performances in the lead up to the final. Today was a scrappy game and Antrim didn’t get into their flow like the goal scoring displays in recent weeks.”

donal og cusack antrim

Antrim will compete in next year’s Leinster championship after it was agreed at Congress to increase the teams competing from five to six.

Originally published on 14 December 2020. 

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