RAY FINNEGAN reminded Louth fans what they've been missing with a few trademark runs and a beautifully taken point following his early introduction for Conor McGuinness on Saturday.
It's been a long road back to full fitness for the St Patrick's man, who has been laid low by a hip injury virtually since Aidan O'Rourke took over.
But the light at the end of the tunnel has been drawing ever closer in recent week and he was delighted to finally rubber-stamp his comeback against Antrim.
'It's great to be back on the field,' he admitted. 'It's been very frustrating, because you think you're close to coming back and something flares up again, but you just have to keep the head down and try to get back into it. Today should stand to me, but we'll all be trying to kick on from this now.'
An experienced campaigner with club and county Finnegan agreed Louth could have made life easier for themselves, particularly when they were on top after the half-time break.
'We had plenty of chances at the start of the second half to kill the game off and we didn't take them and that kept Antrim in it and left us with a bit of work to do.
'We seemed to stop, I don't know why, and they came down and got the goal and a couple of points and they were probably on top for that middle period of the second half. But it was nice to see us pulling away in the end.'
That said, the defender admitted there is still work to do ahead of the next assignment against Kildare and that they rode their luck at times.
'They had chances in both halves and had two off the post in the second half, but in the first round of the Qualifiers it's always going to be nervy and you just want to come out with the right result. Wexford was disappointing, but you have to kick on and hat's what the Qualifiers is all about.
'We know we have good football in us, but sometimes we're maybe taking wrong options or working the ball in well and not taking our scores. But it's all stuff you can work on and that's what we'll be doing again in training during the week.'