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Angry Sean Quigley fights back after pundit Joe Brolly's jibe

By Declan Bogue

Published 22/09/2015

Fermanagh's Sean Quigley finished the season at the summit of the scoring charts
Fermanagh's Sean Quigley finished the season at the summit of the scoring charts

The 2015 All-Ireland football Championship's top scorer has refuted the claims of RTÉ pundit Joe Brolly that his team danced "a merry jig" after their defeat to Dublin in the quarter-final.

Fermanagh's Sean Quigley finished the season at the summit of the scoring charts following Sunday's showpiece final at Croke Park.

With a total of 3-36, he edged out nearest challenger Cillian O'Connor of Mayo (3-34), while Dublin's Bernard Brogan could not close the gap, finishing with 6-19.

Quigley was also the most prolific player in the National Leagues after posting 4-49 in Fermanagh's promotion charge out of Division Three.

However, Quigley's achievement was largely overlooked by the RTÉ panel's discussion of the year, while Brolly repeated an analogy he made in print about Fermanagh's footballers being akin to plane crash survivors in the wake of their eight-point defeat to Dublin.

With fellow pundit Pat Spillane countering that Fermanagh scored more than any other team against the eventual champions, Quigley has answered Brolly. He said: "The fact that he is saying that shows how little he actually knows about what it takes to go in and play at inter-county football at this level nowadays.

"He should realise the commitment that it takes. Eoin Donnelly went to hell and back to get playing in that game and he definitely didn't go up to Dublin to be happy about getting annihilated, I can guarantee you that."

His manager, Pete McGrath, believes that Quigley's scoring feats deserve a measure of recognition and respect.

"The fact that Sean Quigley, and it would be the same for any player coming from a county that is not regarded as anywhere near the top echelons, finished top scorer in the Championship is an incredible feat," the Rostrevor man told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I think it's something that the team has to be given credit for as well.

"His scoring feats this year in the league and Championship tells you something major about the player."

Quigley put Fermanagh's progress in their second season under McGrath (pictured) into perspective. He said: "When I started playing county football in Fermanagh, we were in Division Four.

"Now look at where we are. We got to the last eight in the All-Ireland and we are in the top 16 teams in the National League placings.

"And for some people and pundits to look back on that year and say we were wrong in our reaction?

"People do not realise the lack of resources and the problems in club structure that a county like Fermanagh has.

"The fact that we had such a brilliant year, people should not underestimate the problems that we face, such as numbers of players, players retiring and the resources of other counties."

While Quigley also recorded the highest score of any one game, with his astonishing 14 points against Antrim in the qualifiers, he was overlooked by the panel in the Sunday Game Team of the Year.

Aidan O'Shea was named as the full-forward, but as a direct comparison he did not make the top 20 scoring charts and managed 0-1 against Dublin across 140 minutes, while Quigley kicked 0-4 from play, along with four frees, against the same opposition.

"It would be nice to be involved and included in those types of conversations, but the likes of Aidan O'Shea and others have been doing the business consistently over the last three or four years," Quigley acknowledged.

"Probably because Mayo were so close to getting to an All-Ireland final, they are perceived as a much bigger county than Fermanagh."

Belfast Telegraph

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