Canavan’s Errigal joy tempered by injuries
It is perhaps just as well that Peter Canavan is rather familiar with the vagaries of sporting fortune.
Errigal Ciaran, the club which he both played for and managed in the recent past, transported him to a peak of ecstacy when they lifted the county senior football championship title on Sunday.
Now Canavan is hopeful that the side can make a big impact in the forthcoming Ulster Club championship in which they will meet newly-crowned Cavan champions Mullahoran in the preliminary round on Sunday week.
But while the man who played a big part in putting the club on the map initially — he helped them win the Tyrone crown in 1993, 1994 and 1997 — now ponders the possibility of further success, he is also left to reflect on a bizarre double injury setback which could trim Fermanagh’s resources for the early part of 2013.
Lion-hearted defender Barry Mulrone looks certain to miss both the Dr McKenna Cup and the greater part of the team’s Allianz League campaign after sustaining a serious cruciate ligament injury while playing for Devenish against Derrygonnelly.
And in the same match his playing colleague Joe O’Brien, thought to be close to making the Erne squad, sustained a similar injury.
To compound Canavan’s unease, Eoin Donnelly and Shane Lyons suffered broken hands and, while they have adequate time in which to recover, Canavan is understandably concerned that their respective grips will be fully restored by January.
“While I am pleased that Errigal Ciaran are Tyrone champions again and am looking forward to seeing them do well in the Ulster Club series, this sequence of injuries within the Fermanagh squad is a disappointment, although Eoin and Shane should be ready sooner rather than later,” said Canavan.
“It will be a different story for Barry Mulrone, though, but we would hope to have him back for some league action.”
Gerard Tracey, the Fermanagh liaison officer, stresses that the team is anxious to hit the ground running in the league.
“We certainly don’t want any more injuries if it can be helped,” said Tracey. “Eoin Donnelly was one of our most consistent players this year and scored a very good goal in the Division Four final against Wicklow in Croke Park.
“Barry Mulrone played very well against Down, Shane Lyons is extremely versatile and Joe O’Brien could possibly come through at inter-county level.”
The draft fixtures for the Allianz Football League have been drawn up but have yet to be formally ratified.
However it seems certain that All Ireland champions Donegal will open their campaign against Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare.
Fixtures: Sat Feb 2 (7.0 unless stated) Div 1: Dublin v Cork. Div 2: Laois v Armagh. Sun Feb 3(2.0 unless stated) Div 1: Kildare v Donegal, Down v Tyrone, Mayo v Kerry.Div 2: Galway v Derry, Wexford v Longford, Westmeath v Louth. Dv 3: Antrim v Cavan, Monaghan v Meath, Wicklow v Fermanagh, Roscommon v Sligo. Div 4: London v Offaly, Clare v Waterford, Limerick v Leitrim, Tipperary v Carlow.
Sat Feb 9 (7.0 unless stated): Div 1: Cork v Kildare, Kerry v Dublin.Div 3: Cavan v Monaghan, Fermanagh v Roscommon. Div 4: Waterford v Tipperary. Sun Feb 10: Div 1: Mayo v Tyrone, Donegal v Down; Div 2: Longford v Westmeath, Armagh v Wexford, Derry v Laois, Louth v Galway. Div 3: Sligo v Antrim, Wicklow v Meath. Div 4: Leitrim v Clare, Carlow v London, Offaly v Limerick.
Sat Mar 2: Div 1: Dublin v Mayo. Div 2: Armagh v Longford, Laois v Louth. Div 3: Meath v Cavan, Antrim v Fermanagh. Div 4: Waterford v Limerick. Sun Mar 3: (2.00) Div 1: Tyrone v Donegal, Kildare v Kerry, Down v Cork. Div 2: Wexford v Derry, Galway v Westmeath. Div 3: Roscommon v Wicklow, Monaghan v Sligo. Div 4: Offaly v Clare, Carlow v Leitrim, Tipperary v London.
Sat Mar 9: Div 1: Down v Mayo. Div 2: Derry v Armagh. Div 3: Fermanagh v Monaghan. Sun Mar 10 (2.0 unless stated): Div 1: Donegal v Kerry, Kildare v Dublin, Tyrone v Cork (2.30). Div 2: Longford v Galway, Louth v Wexford (2.30), Westmeath v Laois (2.30). Div 3: Sligo v Cavan, Wicklow v Antrim (2.30), Roscommon v Meath (2.30). Div 4: Clare v Tipperary (1.0), Limerick v Carlow (1.0), London v Waterford, Leitrim v Offaly (2.30).
Sat Mar 16 (7.0 unless stated): Div 1: Mayo v Kildare, Cork v Donegal, Dublin v Tyrone, Kerry v Down. Div 2: Derry v Longford, Armagh v Louth, Laois v Galway.
Div 3: Monaghan v Wicklow (2.0), Antrim v Roscommon, Cavan v Fermanagh, Meath v Sligo. Div 4: Leitrim v Waterford (2.0), Clare v London (2.0), Offaly v Carlow (2.0), Limerick v Tipperary. Mon Mar 18: (2.0) Div 2: Wexford v Westmeath.
Sun Mar 24 (2.00 unless stated): Div 1: Dublin v Down, Kerry v Cork, Mayo v Donegal (2.30), Kildare v Tyrone (2.30) Div 2: Galway v Wexford (1.0), Louth v Derry, Westmeath v Armagh, Longford v Laois (2.30). Div 3: Antrim v Meath, Fermanagh v Sligo, Wicklow v Cavan (2.30), Roscommon v Monaghan (2.30) Div 4: Waterford v Offaly (1.0), London v Limerick, Tipperary v Leitrim, Carlow v Clare (2.30).
Sun April 7 (3.00): Div 1: Down v Kildare, Cork v Mayo, Tyrone v Kerry, Donegal v Dublin. Div 2: Derry v Westmeath, Louth v Longford, Wexford v Laois, Armagh v Galway Div 3: Monaghan v Antrim, Sligo v Wicklow, Meath v Fermanagh, Cavan v Roscommon. Div 4: Leitrim v London, Clare v Limerick, Carlow v Waterford, Offaly v Tipperary.