By Pauric McGurn
With a second win in this year’s Lory Meagher Cup last Saturday afternoon against Lancashire, Fermanagh moved one win away from a return to Croke Park and a chance to finish the season off with a long sought after Lory Meagher trophy.
Fermanagh joint manager Seamus McCusker said he knew his side would be in for a serious test on Saturday past over in Birmingham, “We knew plenty about Lancashire as most of the team is from the Fullen Gaels that made this year’s All-Ireland club junior final.
“We still aren’t at Croke Park but we saw Leitrim play Warwickshire after our own game on Saturday and we know Leitrim won’t be easy in Enniskillen on May 24th. They are a big, strong and very skillful side, we will be in for a test.”
Fermanagh now have a break this weekend with five teams in the group the top two will contest the Croke Park final on June 6th. McCusker is hopeful a few niggling injuries will now clear up in the squad.
“Dermott Curran has been ruled out for six weeks so still hasn’t played in this year’s Lory Meagher Cup, it’s a wrist injury that isn’t going away easily but hopefully now with a two week break Dermott will be back for the Leitrim clash. In saying all of that though we will be going hard at it now for the next two weeks with training coming up on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.”
Some of the Fermanagh hurling squad will be back to the big ball game this weekend with Senior football league fixtures to be played this Saturday.
“The dual player is always wanted by both camps but hopefully the boys can stay away from injuries over the coming football games and hopefully I can have a fully fit squad for Leitrim,” said McCusker.
Another win for Fermanagh and Croke Park will be secured, but for the moment all McCusker is talking about is the Leitrim game, “Of course it would be great to be back but we could hit the wall and get beaten by Leitrim and Sligo. Thankfully though for now we aren’t relying on any other results and after five league defeats in the National Hurling League I’m really pleased the boys have got off to a flying start in the Lory Meagher Cup.”
After the loss of fellow county hurler Shane Mulholland in a tragic car accident the Fermanagh squad are fully concentrating on winning the Lory Meagher Cup for Shane’s memory. Seamus says that it would be a fitting tribute.
“Of course it would be great to be back after the loss in last year’s final against Longford. We are taking nothing for granted but it would be a terrific feeling to win the Cup for Shane Mulholland’s wife and family. Until we get one more win we won’t be thinking of winning any Cup, but winning each individual game and let’s hope get to the holy grail of Croke Park once again.”
Fellow Fermanagh co-manager Sean Duffy agreed the recent tragedy has helped bond the team.
“It’s driving us on. Shane Mulholland was very close with the rest of our lads, he was a character in our dressing room and anyone who knew Shane Mulholland, knew how passionate he was about hurling,” said Duffy.
“It’s gelling the boys. We hadn’t a great league. We were relegated, we never had a full side out during the league but our confidence was low coming into this but two wins have helped us and the spirit of Shane Mulholland is running through that team. We’re carrying him with us, the spirit of Shane is in that team there.”
On goalkeeper Mark Curry’s injury, Duffy said, “I was speaking to him. He seems to be alright. He took a bang to the head but hopefully he’s alright. He’s up and about.”
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