A win can reignite promotion hopes

HAVING suffered defeat at the hands of Antrim last weekend, Kieran Donnelly’s Fermanagh squad now travel to the East coast on Sunday for a huge game with Wicklow.

Coming into the Division Three campaign, Fermanagh was quietly being tipped by some to go all the way and claim promotion, however, last Saturday’s 0-8 to 1-14 defeat by Antrim has posed serious questions.

Wicklow didn’t enjoy a winning start either though. Colin Kelly’s side had started well away to Division Three favourites Westmeath and actually led after 13 minutes, 0-1 to 2-3.

However, Westmeath got in the groove and ended up running out winners on a scoreline of 1-16 to 2-8, with Wicklow playing from the 33rd minute with 14 men after Rory Stokes was dismissed with a second yellow card.

So, Fermanagh head East and will know that Wicklow is a side that can cause teams a lot of problems in the tight surroundings of Aughrim.

Fermanagh manager, Kieran Donnelly, will have a number of decisions to make, Luke Flanagan and Joe McDade are nursing injuries, while the Derrygonnelly trio of Stephen McGullion, Shane McGullion and an encouraging showing from Gary McKenna on Saturday last will see the Harps trio pushing for a starting place.

Fermanagh know more scores are needed to get across the winning line. In their three games so far this season the scoring has been moderate to say the least, hitting 0-11 against Monaghan, 1-10 against Derry and 0-8 last weekend at home to Antrim.

Wicklow, like Fermanagh are sporting a new management teams this season. Gone are Davy Burke, Gary Jameson and Mike Hassett. In their place are Colin Kelly, Gary Duffy and Alan Costello.

Colin Kelly is now managing his third county side after stints with Louth and Westmeath previously.

Wicklow will likely line out with regular shot-stopper Mark Jackson in at number one, while in front of him Patrick O’Keane, Nicky Devereux and Eoin Murtagh will be tasked with marshalling the Fermanagh full-forward line.

A very interesting half-back line possesses a mixture of pace and power and is populated by Andy Maher and Avondale’s Zach Cullen either side of Niall Donnelly of St Patrick’s at number 6.


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