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Fermanagh hopes dealt fatal blow by Quigleys' walk-out

By John Campbell

Fermanagh's slim hopes of gaining promotion from Division Three of the National League have been dealt what appears to be a fatal blow after a player walk-out at training.

It is believed that following a dispute at training, Roslea brothers Seamus, Sean and Conor Quigley walked off the pitch and their continued involvement has been thrown into question.

Seamus was already the subject of controversy this season when he played a soccer match for Lisnaskea Rovers only hours before the league meeting against Sligo, with Quigley's participation in doubt due to a hamstring strain.

That evening he was dropped along with Niall Cassidy who committed a similar offence, with manager Pete McGrath commenting at the time, "The decision was very easy to make, the two players were told because they had played soccer, they would not be part of the panel tonight against Sligo and then further to that, I said that any player that wants to be on the squad can have no involvement with soccer.

"They have to be fully-committed. This is senior inter-county football, you can't be ambivalent, you can't be dabbling in all things. It does interfere, so the choice is clear."

McGrath stopped short of cutting both men from the panel, stating: "Inter-county is so thorough that if you are not matching the standards of the other counties, it will catch you out. The individual and the team will be caught out. The situation is now clear, the boys will toe the line.

"The boys know they were wrong in what they did, action was taken, you draw a line in the sand and move on. It certainly won't happen again."

The loss of Sean and Seamus will seriously blunt the forward line. During the McKenna Cup, the duo accounted for all but 0-4 of Fermanagh's scoring total.

In their only win this season –that league game against Sligo – Sean Quigley hit 1-8.

In the last league outing, a defeat at home to Roscommon, Sean hit 1-5, and Seamus accounted for 2-1.

However, this latest development cannot come as a surprise. Despite making his debut in 2009, Seamus Quigley has fallen out of favour with four Fermanagh county managers; Malachy O'Rourke, John O'Neill, Peter Canavan and, now, Pete McGrath.

At the beginning of the season, Conor Quigley was made vice-captain of the squad, with Eoin Donnelly captain.

Fermanagh will now have an uphill struggle as they prepare for their trip to play Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds this Sunday.

* TYRONE captain Sean Cavanagh has apologised to the county's supporters who were in Kerry to witness their second-half collapse last Sunday.

The Ulster men were 15 points adrift at the final whistle in Killarney and the five-time All Star pulled no punches as he described the performance as a "disgrace" and "embarrassing".

"It's not acceptable," he said. "You'd almost need a thesaurus to try and work out negative words to describe it.

"It was a disgrace for anyone standing out there in the second half as a Tyrone footballer. We know we didn't even decide to turn up or decide to even play. I don't know what happened.

"They bossed us about the pitch, bullied us about the pitch. We didn't even put up a whimper of a fight, which was embarrassing.

"Not too many of us have had that happen to them in our club and county careers. I certainly haven't seen too much of it thankfully.

"Mickey Harte's not going to put it right, or Tony Donnelly, or Fergal (McCann, trainer) or Gavin (Devlin) – it's the players ourselves. We'll just have to look deep down and I have no doubt we'll be hurting for the next number of days but luckily this is the league.

"The last time this happened us was in 2012 and we hadn't a chance after it. This time we have a chance and we have to fight back."

Belfast Telegraph

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