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Fermanagh must start to land knockout blows: Duffy

 

By Declan Bogue

Fermanagh hurlers face Sligo away in the Lory Meagher Cup and their fate is almost in their own hands.

Should the Ernesiders beat Sligo - whom they defeated in the 2015 final - and follow it up with a likely win over Cavan the following week, then they can still make the decider.

In the wake of last weekend's defeat to Warwickshire, manager Sean Duffy was realistic, as he explained: "It's knock-out hurling for us now.

"We can't afford to lose any more games and expect to qualify so we know what we have ahead of us now."

Having taken on the job without long-term collaborator Seamus McCusker, Duffy has not found the kind of bounce he might have expected with relegation from the Nicky Rackard Cup last year.

It is in Warwickshire's gift to anoint who will be their final opponents, but they will have too much for Leitrim this weekend and it would seem unlikely they will want to pass up on the bragging rights in their final game against Lancashire.

The semi-finals of the Under-17 County Football Championship are hosted today in Clones. Antrim take on Cavan (12noon) and Tyrone face Down (1.45pm).

Meanwhile, London manager Ciaran Deely has been delighted with the impact former Tyrone forward Owen Mulligan has had since joining up with the county squad.

Mulligan made a cameo appearance in a hurling championship match for Fulham Irish recently, making the 35-year-old eligible to play some role against Leitrim when the sides meet in the Connacht Championship on May 28.

"To be honest I've been really, really impressed with him as a person and how he approaches Gaelic football," Deely admitted.

"He clearly loves Gaelic football still at this age, he has been brilliant with the younger lads, giving advice. At no stage has he come in to say these training facilities aren't up to scratch or you need to do this or that."

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