Darren Gleeson: Tipperary man agrees to stay on as Antrim hurling manager

Darren Gleeson has been in charge of the Antrim hurlers for the past three seasons

Antrim hurling manager Darren Gleeson has agreed to extend his term in charge for a further two years - with an option for another season after that.

Gleeson, appointed to the job in September 2019, guided the Saffrons to the second Joe McDonagh Cup title of his tenure earlier this summer.

That came after Antrim had retained their Division One status by beating Offaly in a relegation play-off.

Antrim's Joe McDonagh triumph means a return to the Leinster SHC in 2023.

The Saffrons earned promotion to Division One and won the second-tier championship in Gleeson's first year in charge in 2020.

Antrim impressively retained their Division One status in 2021 but then endured a disappointing championship campaign which saw them relegated back to the McDonagh Cup after a defeat by Laois.

Antrim's form in this season's league was not as convincing as last year as they lost all five of their Division One B round-robin contests - including a very disappointing defeat by Laois which saw them having to face Offaly in the relegation play-off.

However, Antrim came good to win that high-pressure contest in Navan and another win over the Midlanders helped them secure another Joe McDonagh Cup final appearance where they edged out Kerry in a high-scoring contest.

An Antrim county board statement said it was "delighted to announce" Gleeson's decision to remain in post.

There had been suggestions that Gleeson could be in the frame for the vacant Waterford job but those have now been put to bed by Thursday's announcement.

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