Antrim to return to Walsh Cup next year

After sitting out this year's Bord na Mona Walsh Cup, it has been confirmed that the Antrim hurlers will compete in the early season Leinster-based competition in 2013.

Leinster GAA Chairman Martin Skelly explained at yesterday's launch of the 2012 Leinster GAA Championships that the Saffrons will be involved in the next season's Walsh Cup.

"Antrim explained their case earlier this year to us. They had a new management team and with the Loughgiel players involved in the All-Ireland Club semi-final at that stage an awful lot of the backbone of the Antrim senior hurling panel was involved," he said.

"They felt that if they weren't able to compete they would wait until they got a full team. That is what they have committed to us and they will be back next year."

Skelly agreed that Antrim and Galway are very important participants in Leinster hurling competitions like the province's forthcoming Senior Hurling Championship.

"There are some excellent hurling teams in our province. The standard is set by a wonderful Kilkenny team.

"I think it's innovative that Antrim and Galway are there. Antrim won their first round match against Laois last year and they will be hoping to step up on that performance.

"Galway will be saying, 'if we are ever to win an All-Ireland we'll have to win a Leinster title on the way'."

He added: "They are very welcome visitors to our province and I think they bring a great level of excitement and they are very, very passionate about what they are doing.

"If one of them were to write their name on the Leinster cup next July well good luck to them. It's great to have them with us."

Most Read in Sport