London hurling boss Fergus McMahon upbeat despite Antrim defeat and heavy schedule

London hurling boss Fergus McMahon upbeat despite Antrim defeat and heavy schedule

LONDON hurling manager Fergus McMahon admits he doesn’t know much about this weekend’s opponents Armagh, but is expecting another tough test from their second Ulster opposition in as many weeks.

The Exiles suffered a seven-point defeat to Antrim in their opening Allianz Hurling League Division 2A game last Sunday, though McMahon could not fault his side’s effort against a team who were one step ahead in terms of match fitness.

Next up is a trip to the Athletic Grounds in the Orchard County, and Robert Emmetts stalwart McMahon is doing his homework on the newly promoted side.

“I don’t know a great deal about them but I’ve made a couple of phone calls,” he told The Irish Post.

“I know they played well last year, beat Down and Meath to get out of 2B, and we’ve seen how good them two teams are in the Christy Ring, so they’re definitely a good team and it’ll be a right good test for us over there.”

Facing a second successive weekend on the road due to the ongoing redevelopment of Ruislip, McMahon admits the 2017 season could become tiresome, but as yet enthusiasm within the squad remains high.

“We have a tight enough panel so everyone will travel and there’ll be no one left behind. There’s no home fixtures for which we can get a really big squad together but so far we’re not worried because the weekends are well planned out, so at the moment we’re positive about it.

“Obviously, we’ve never played five away games in the league before so we’re entering the unknown, but we’ll know more about it a bit later on.”

As for the 0-20 to 0-13 defeat to the Saffrons, McMahon isn’t dwelling on the defeat and hopes fitness levels will be improved for the visit to Armagh.

“Antrim have played a lot more games than us, this was our first outing as a team together, but we’re happy enough with the way the boys performed and their work-rate throughout the match, but we all know there’s still a lot of hard work to do.”

  • See this week's Irish Post newspaper for a full report on Antrim v London