Corrigan insists vital Fermanagh learn lessons

Tomá?s Corrigan pushes past Cathal McCarron. RMG27

Tomá?s Corrigan pushes past Cathal McCarron. RMG27

It’s difficult for Tomás Corrigan to find the silver linings in the McKenna cup semi-final defeat to Tyrone.

The Red Hands gave a masterclass in game management in Clones on Sunday. They constantly thwarted any Fermanagh efforts to build momentum, by fair means by foul, and punished the Ernesiders naivety in this department to the maximum. It is perhaps that deficit of game craft which is galling Corrigan most. 

“When Eoin [Donnelly] went off we kept kicking it out to the middle and Tyrone won something like the next five kick outs in a row,” said the Fermanagh attacker. “Whereas if we had been savvy we should have started kicking short and building a few attacks, just get a few scores to edge ourselves back into the game. 

“It’s January, it’s the start of the year, it was naive, but the important thing is to learn the lessons from that. If we do then the we can look back on the McKenna cup positively.”

Corrigan acknowledges that it is perhaps better to get a wake-up call like this in pre-season play pen that is the McKenna cup, rather than in NFL division two proper where every point won is going to be precious.

“It was very useful in the sense it showed us exactly where we are at,” said the Kinawley man. “We might have had a false sense of security after beating Down. We all knew that Down had an experimental team out, if you want to call it that. But it’s in the back of your head, we’ve beat Down, they’re a division one team so subconsciously you get notions of yourself that we’ve arrived at the big time here. But Sunday brought us back down to earth. It was a timely reminder that we’re nowhere near where we need to be if we’re to reach our targets for this year.”

But while some weaknesses have been cruelly exposed, there are still grounds for looking to the NFL campaign with conviction and confidence that Fermanagh can once again bring the jersey forward.

“The Donegal game was pleasing in the sense that we beat a team of the stature of Donegal,” said Corrigan. “It seems to have been a stumbling block for us over the years that we play well against all the lesser teams, but when it comes to the bigger sides we flop. We fall back on convenient excuses like blaming sendings off and things like that.

“It was good that we beat Donegal, and beat them comfortably enough in the finish. Whereas against Tyrone on Sunday we reverted to type and got beat convincingly. Eoin getting sent off was a big blow for us, but I thought we were naive in how we let Tyrone take control in the second half and that’s something we have to look at.”

As for his own form, Corrigan is just happy to have an injury free January behind him and is looking forward to bringing things up a notch in the National League.

“I’m probably the fittest I’ve been at this time of year that I’ve ever been because I’ve had no injury set backs in the pre-season so I’ve had a clear run at it. It’s hard training at this time of year in the bad conditions, but I’m happy enough. But, like the whole team, I’m a long way off where I want to be.”


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA