Fermanagh boss O’Rourke weighs up his options
Fermanagh manager Malachy O’Rourke could yet field a full-forward line against Monaghan in Sunday’s Ulster football semi-final that has the grand total of two full championship games between them.
When the Ernesiders overcame Cavan for the first time in a championship game Saturday-week ago, Peter Ward and Chris O’Brien made their debuts in the Ulster series and, when Seamus Quigley was drafted in from the substitutes’ bench in 47th minute, this meant that a trio of novices carried the team’s scoring hopes.
But such was their response to the challenge that O’Rourke may now consider leaving out the vastly experienced Rory Gallagher when he confirms his side to meet Seamus McEnaney’s upbeat outfit.
Ward (3), O’Brien (2) and Quigley (2) landed seven points of Fermanagh’s 1-13 total and underlined O’Rourke’s strongly-held belief that, although the National League had ultimately only brought relegation to Division Four, the form of these and other emerging players had been a considerable bonus.
Now the Fermanagh boss finds himself with interesting options up front as not only is Quigley in line for rather more game time against Monaghan but Ryan Keenan, Ciaran McElroy and former Tyrone ace Aidan McCarron are chomping at the bit for action.
Even though he landed two frees against Cavan, Rory Gallagher was out of touch and, given the physicality and tenacious marking which Monaghan displayed in beating Armagh by a twelve-point margin earlier this month, the imposing Quigley might constitute a greater threat to their defensive stability.
As well as scoring two points, one with his first touch of the ball in championship football, Quigley also had a had in Ryan Carson’s vital 64th minute goal that effectively swung the game in Fermanagh’s favour.
Manager O’Rourke is remaining non-committal for now but accepts that his team will have to engage a much higher gear if they hope to book a meeting with Tyrone in the Ulster final on July 18.
“While our performance against Cavan was satisfactory, Monaghan will be a very different proposition,” he said.
“They are showing a great hunger for the Ulster title and they have lots of experience. They are fit and strong and they have players in various areas of the field who can take scores.”
Barry Mulrone and Daniel Ward also made impressive debuts for Fermanagh against Cavan in defence and should be retained for next Sunday’s game although Ward was substituted by the rather more experienced Damian Kelly in the 63rd minute.
Despite the recession, Ticketmaster are hiking up to 33.3 per cent added costs on children's tickets for GAA games.
It's a massive increase which Ticketmaster have a described as “a minimum service charge”.
A ticket costing three euro for Saturday's Offaly-Galway Leinster hurling semi-final replay in Portlaoise carries an extra charge of one euro when booked through the Ticketmaster website.
Adult terrace tickets for the same game, which are priced at 15 euro, carry a service charge of two euro each.
It means that a package for two adults and four children's tickets with a face value of 42 euro costs 50 euro if booked through Ticketmaster.
That's an overall service charge of over 19 per cent for six tickets.