Roscommon had no answer to the pace and movement of Fermanagh’s flying corner forward, Sharon Little, as the Lisnaskea Emmetts player hit 3-3 in a near perfect individual performance as the Erne county claimed a spot in the All Ireland Intermediate final.
After the game she reflected on her own performance and admitted to being ‘delighted’ with how things had went.
“It was great to get a few scores. I would not really be a scorer most of the time so it was nice to get on the score sheet and just so happy to get the win and delighted with how it all went.”
From a famous footballing clan Sharon and her big sister Caroline accounted for 5-08 of Fermanagh’s 7-12 total on Saturday but it was Sharon’s link up play with full forward, Noelle Connolly, which really caught the eye. Time and again the pair combined to leave the Roscommon defence at sixes and sevens.
“I would have played with Noelle at school and obviously for the county as well and we always sort of know each other’s style. And this year we have gotten to know each other even better and thankfully it is working well.”
Fermanagh were all square with Roscommon at the break and Little revealed that the fight from the girls from the West was not unexpected.
“It seemed like every time we got a score in the first half they would come back and get one but we knew they were good and we knew how fast their forwards were. I thought our backs were brilliant in the second half and really got to grips with them and started to make their own runs from defence and we really got on top then.”
At the final whistle the Emmetts forward admitted to having somewhat mixed emotions at having reached her second All Ireland final with the county.
“To be honest the initial feeling was just pure relief because of what happened in the semi final last year and then as it began to sink in I was just over the moon to be back in another All Ireland final.”
There has been a massive turnaround in fortunes for Fermanagh since their defeat to Down in the Ulster final with a series of impressive performances seeing them claim a place in the final and earn them another crack at the Mourne girls.
“We have just been getting better all the time. I think the younger girls have really started to believe in themselves and believe that they are good enough to play at that level and there is a real confidence in the team now,” Little revealed.
Looking towards the final the hat trick hero stated that she would be thinking back to the last final in 2009 and how the team performed against Clare to see if there are any lessons to be learned.
“We did not start well against Clare that day and then we had a goal disallowed. We ended up losing by three or four points and our start definitely did not help us.”
On playing the final in Croke park Little is a savvy enough campaigner to know that the history and glamour of the stadium will play a part.
“It is impossible to ignore it and I know that the younger girls especially will be thinking about playing in Croke Park but I think it is real important that the more experienced players keep everyone focused on what has to be done and to keep it tight for the first 15 or 20 minutes then hopefully we will be well into the game and any nerves will be gone.”
If Little can reproduce her goal scoring exploits in Croke Park then Fermanagh could be on their way to All Ireland glory.
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