‘D-Day’ for Erne Ladies

As Sunday’s pivotal Division 4 semi-final looms, for Fermanagh Ladies manager CJ McGourty the clash with Carlow in Dunleer is what it’s all been building towards.

McGourty’s side has enjoyed a successful and unbeaten campaign to date with six wins and a draw from their seven fixtures, but that would be scant consolation if it amounted to disappointment in Louth.

“At the end of the day, it has been going well but if we don’t win on Sunday there’s no point been going well for the last two months,” said McGourty.


“Sunday is sort of D-Day for this group of players to, number one: try and get to a final, and number two: try and get out of this division.

“We’ve got to work towards that. Just because we’ve won six matches and drew one doesn’t mean we’re entitled to get to a final or have a given right to get out of the division, we’re going to have to work damn hard on Sunday.”

Preparations have been boosted by the recent return of Sarah Britton and Róisín O’Reilly, providing a welcome boost to training as they make their way back from long-term injuries.

McGourty expects them to be ‘five to six weeks away’ from playing,but is happy to have a strong squad to pick from and previous issues with facility provisions rectified.

“We’ve been lucky enough to get St Mick’s (St Michael’s Pavilion) the last couple of nights and we’re in Roslea on Friday night, so all being well, preparations are well intact.

“We’ve girls getting up to speed with one or two back from injury, though this weekend will probably be too soon for them, but everyone else that’s been fit for the league games so far are fit.”

The Leinster opposition are the only team Fermanagh did not beat in the league, with that contest remembered as much for the atrocious conditions in which it was played as the drawn outcome.


“There was absolutely nothing to take from that game, to be honest. It was just one of them days you sort of couldn’t wait for the match to get over and get home,” recalled McGourty.

“I’ve been involved in intercounty football for a long time and it was one of the worst days I’ve ever been involved in, in terms of conditions and weather-wise. We’ll take nothing from that game in terms of how we played or how they played because there was no tactics that day or nothing, it was just throw whatever you have at it and hope for the best because conditions dictated.

“They do have three or four very good forwards and you try to match up against them, but you’re always focused on your own team.”
The Erne ladies did take victory over Derry in their last match at the start of the month, but the overall performance was something McGourty is aware will need improved upon this Sunday.

“It’s a good sign when you’re winning matches and I believe we didn’t play that well that day against Derry; there were positives to take, but we know that won’t be good enough to beat Carlow this weekend and that’s what we’ve been trying to work on,” he added.

“We’re just hoping we’re better than them on the day and that’s what it comes down to in Gaelic; you can prepare as good as you want, get your tactics as well as you want, but there’s no point training brilliantly and being fit if you don’t do it in those 60-or-70 minutes.”

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