“YESTERDAY’S win by Leitrim over Clare gives us a lot of confidence, we were very unlucky to lose to Leitrim by a point, they won by four, so we’re looking forward to the challenge, we feel we’re in a good place”.
Fermanagh Ladies captain, Couretney Murphy, struck a highly positive note in voicing her thoughts on this coming Sunday’s crucial ‘winner takes all’ Intermediate Championship clash against ‘banner county’ opposition.
Murphy, along with her colleagues had the decided advantage of being able to watch Clare in online action against Leitrim, commenting, “We now know the players to watch, they are a strong team and it will be a physical contest”
“We’ve been used to playing third division teams and we welcome the opportunity to test ourselves against a second division side, we know we’re well capable of beating them.”
Though now ranked two league tiers higher, Clare should certainly hold no fears for the Erne Ladies as they make Sunday’s relatively short trip to Longford’s Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
For Clare haven’t been cutting much ice this year, just one win from four competitive outings.
That solitary victory though, just edging out Wexford, 0-12 to 1-8, in their league opening round clash, eventually sufficed for avoidance of relegation, their other two second division outings resulted in defeat.
A loss away to Kerry in a high scoring spectacle, 4-14 to 3-11, was followed by a devastating 4-18 to 0-5 hammering at the hands of eventual divisional winners, Meath.
More significantly, last Sunday’s championship clash with Leitrim saw Clare, for the third game in a row, shipping four goals in going down to a 4-7 to 2-9 defeat, Michelle Guckian netting twice for the winners.
Remarkably, the game at Ballinasloe followed a somewhat similar path to Fermanagh’s Ballinamore tussle a week earlier, Clare on top early on, racing into a 1-2 to 0-0 lead after 15 minutes.
It was all square at the interval, 1-4 apiece, Clare again leading from the restart until Leitrim hit a second goal just on the water break, then surging clear, a late Clare penalty goal coming too late to prevent defeat.
The result means that Leitrim join Down as the first Intermediate quarter final qualifiers, the remaining Group 2 spot resting on Sunday’s Pearse Park outcome with a draw now sufficient to see Fermanagh through on score difference.
Accumulated concession of 13-46 in just four games, certainly raises major questions regarding Clare’s defensive solidity.
Likewise, the Kerry game apart, their simultaneous returns record would suggest limited enough attacking potential.
Both factors combine to offer further Fermanagh encouragement, they should create plenty of scoring chances while keeping it tight at the back, but Murphy was quick to point out, “we have to capitalise on opportunities”.
She also said that training has been very good since the Leitrim defeat, explaining, “We’ve been looking at what went wrong and working on getting it right and hopefully we’ve done that.”
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Posted: 12:00 pm July 25, 2021