Antrim did their bit for the underdogs again when they sent Cavan crashing out of the Ulster SFC at the semifinal stage in Clones on Saturday night to book a final date with All-Ireland champions Tyrone.
Liam Bradley’s side faces a major task in the provincial final, but for now Bradley is happy to enjoy his team’s run to a first Ulster decider in 39 years.
“I’m sure the weaker counties in Ireland are looking at Antrim now and realizing what can be done with a wee bit of hard work,” said Bradley.
“These guys have worked immensely hard for six months. They were no-hopers at the start of the year, but here we are now in an Ulster final.
“Antrim haven’t been in a final since 1970 -- 39 years is a long time for any county to not reach an Ulster final. And for us to get here is unbelievable. It was richly deserved.
“I always knew that the talent was there. Antrim has the guts of 40 clubs or more and there are bound to be players there.”
Veteran Antrim star Kevin Brady has waited since his championship debut in 1998 to play in an Ulster final and he admitted, “I can’t put it into words what this means.
“But I hope maybe people will look back on 2009 and say that was the year that Antrim started to have some success in senior football.
“I hope it inspires all the young people around county Antrim.”
As for the Tyrone challenge Brady added, “These young boys aren’t really worried about the history, they want to make their own history.
“They have no fear and hopefully that is the first of many Ulster finals for them. I’m just glad to be part of it.”
Cavan boss Tommy Carr was honest afterwards and said, “We were beaten by a fresher, hungrier looking team. They seemed to have the impetus and the hunger to do it.
“We were trying to put too many fingers in the dyke. We weren’t winning enough ball in the middle which put our back-line under pressure and there was a dearth of supply to our own forwards as well. Ultimately, the better team won.”