JUST like last year, Antrim will travel to Wexford for their second Tailteann Cup group game on Saturday (4pm throw-in) off the back of a home victory.

Two points on the board from the home fixture was vital for Andy McEntee’s men and they managed just that as they struck four goals in their victory over Tipperary on Sunday and also had to find a response when the Premier rallied.

So, it’s now off to the Model County where they were 2-15 to 0-14 winners last year, aided by goals from Aghagallon’s Ruairi McCann who also netted twice in the win over Tipp.

His return from injury is most welcome from an Antrim perspective as his presence on the edge of the square is a headache for any defence as he proved in the opener.

His Aghagallon club-mate, Adam Loughran also returned to the field last weekend as he was introduced for his first taste of action this year off the bench and there is a sense that Antrim are beginning to get key personnel back at the right time for this Tailteann campaign they will have designs on making a deep run into, just like last year when they reached the semi-finals, only to fall to eventual winners, Meath.

A big part of that was down to a first-place finish in the group which granted a bye into a quarter-final with the added bonus of that being played at home and again, that will be what they are targeting.

To get there last year, they won all three group games, so Saturday’s trip to Wexford Park is vitally important.

The hosts will be in no mood to simply roll over and allow that to happen as they will be desperate to get off the mark having lost 2-21 to 2-15 in Sligo at the weekend, but will take positives from that display with Glen Malone and Dylan Furlong netting, while Mark Rossiter, Sean Nolan, Kevin O’Grady and Ben Brosnan all showed well for the Slaneysiders.

The outcome of this game will go a long way to decide whether if, when and where these teams will be playing in the knockout stage, so both will be well aware of the importance, but Antrim will travel with confidence they can repeat last year’s win to keep their ambitions of top spot well on track.