ANTRIM hurling manager Darren Gleeson admits he will take time to sit back and ponder what is next following Antrim's win over Carlow on Sunday saw them remain up in the Leinster Championship.

The Tipperary man has been at the helm for five years, initially on a three-year term that was extended by two with an option of a third.

Whether he takes that up remains to be seen as there are plenty of factors to consider including his own home life in Portroe.

He has clocked up the miles over the years with Antrim and although the Saffrons' journey is not complete, he said he will not make any rash decisions whether he will stay on for that added year or part ways after a successful stint that saw Antrim come from second tier status to become established in Division One of the League and in the MacCarthy Cup grade in the Championship.

"Genuinely, we'll give it thought," he confirmed.

"It's easy saying you can walk away on a good note or wherever you are. I'll reflect with the lads and see where we are going.

"The management team behind me have given it a huge time and effort too. When we started this a few years ago and built it on from there, it's a long road. 

"It needs reflection and it's easy saying that as an answer, but it needs reflection. It would be easy to say 'job done' but I need to give it the right thought. You have ups and downs, but I have to see what's going on in my own life."

That Antrim remain at the top in both competitions may help sway his mind towards remaining but that remains to be seen.

As it was, Carlow drop back to the Joe McDonagh Cup which is tough for a county that worked so hard to get up only to be shown the exit door as they were just finding their feet.

That snakes and ladders system is not ideal for countries trying to develop but it's the one that's in place at present for the Leinster Championship.

"It's tough on teams and has to be addressed," Gleeson agreed.

"You've one side of the championship (Leinster) where you operate with peril, then the other side (Munster) where if you have a bad year, you go away and come again.

"The team that goes down will go away and reflect for two years, all going well. Then you've teams like Westmeath who went down last year and people said they would come straight back up, but aren't in the McDonagh final. That's a serious competition in its own right and if you go down into it, it can take a two or three-year cycle to come back. 

"That's why it's important that teams get the chance to settle and balance themselves in it (MacCarthy Cup). We've done that now, so we need to push on."