FERMANAGH ladies booked their place in this year’s Ulster Intermediate Championship final with a resounding 19-point win over Antrim at Dunaghmoyne on Saturday.
They now play Down in the decider at Celtic Park on Sunday, July 14.
Fermanagh, whose starting 15 represented 8 clubs, quickly got into their stride after Kirsty McGuinness had opened the scoring for Antrim, tagging on 1-7 without reply.
Antrim, who fielded some of last year’s All-Ireland junior c’ship-winning side, came back strongly to get without two points (1-7 to 1-5) before a goal apiece before halftime, from Edel Campbell and Lynn McFrederick left Fermanagh comfortably in front at the break (3-8 to 1-5).
It was all downhill after that for Fermanagh, the team management bringing on the full quota of subs to give them a taste of championship football.
The team manager, Paula Cunningham was pleased enough with their performance.
“We played very well in patches. I suppose Antrim would not be the best of teams at that level, but you can only play what’s in front of you. In saying that, they have some pedigree and they have a couple of nice performers.
“So, while I’m happy with the victory, I’m not happy with the fact we conceded 1-10, but there again you can’t have it every way.
“And, there was that little 5 or 10-minute spell when Antrim scored 1-4 without reply, although once we got over that little period, we pulled away. But, for that 5-10 minute spell, Antrim were on top and that’s something we need to look at.”
On the plus side, it was obvious that Fermanagh were well prepared.
“Yes, in fairness, the girls have put in a lot of work since the league, both on and off the field. We did come together and we really knuckled down in an effort to try and win an Ulster title.”
That’s just over two weeks away and, starting this week, Paula expects Fermanagh to be training three times a week until then.
She has watched and analysed Down, Fermanagh’s opponents on 14th July, and was impressed at what she saw and learnt.
“They’re well balanced, and very fit. They will be a tough opposition, but we have a good panel at the moment, and there’s still a fight on for starting places. We picked up a few injuries, so we need to make sure we have enough cover as regards who can step up.”