Allianz Hurling League Division One, Group B
Antrim v Galway (Corrigan Park, Sunday, 1pm)
UNDOUBTEDLY, it was one that got away for Antrim’s hurlers against Dublin a fortnight back, but the challenge is to lift themselves and replicate the performance as Galway visit Corrigan Park on Sunday.

The Saffrons did plenty of things right against The Dubs and looked set to put two points on the board when ahead in stoppage time, but an error gifted the visitors what proved to be the decisive goal to leave Darren Gleeson’s men empty handed.

Of course, how the ball got to that end of the field was cited as-well-as the goalkeeping error itself with the mantra of winning and losing as a team emphasised in the aftermath.

But there is a fresh challenge this week with Henry Shefflin’s Tribesmen in town as they too bid to put defeat in their last outing behind them as they fell to Tipperary.

Last year, the Westerners proved too strong for Antrim in the Leinster Championship and the sides will meet again in that competition in Belfast, so setting the tone is crucial.

“Instead of having the two points to give you that boost going into it, we have to get the boys boosted to get something into their energy levels for the next couple of weeks,” Gleeson said after the Dublin game.

“That’s up to the players and the management to drive towards the Galway game, Westmeath game and Tipp game.”

In terms of player availability, the Antrim boss insists they will not rush anyone back before time with Conor McCann the most realistic to be back this week.

Antrim’s hopes of finishing in the top half of Division One’s Group B took a significant hit with the defeat to Dublin and while there will be few tipping them to turn over the Tribe this week, that’s not the attitude within the squad.

The performance a fortnight ago backs up his assertion there is plenty to feel good about and he is happy with what he is seeing in their bid to turn those narrow defeats into wins.

“There’s a defeatist air going on in the background,” Gleeson acknowledged before insisting the work going in behind the scenes should be grounds for optimism instead.

“People think I’m just putting a spin on it, but I’m looking at it every night of the week.

“People get to see it maybe five times in the League and how many more times in the Championship, but I see it three times a week in person and then when they are going their gym and getting reports they are smashing it. That fills me up and should fill up the crowd.”