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McCabe ready for Fermanagh’s London calling

Shane McCabe is set to get some game time for Fermanagh against London in Division Four of the National Football League at Ruislip on Sunday.

McCabe, who has turned his back on soccer, was introduced as a substitute against Clare last Sunday and helped to tilt the scales in the Ernesiders’ favour.

Now manager Peter Canavan will again lean on McCabe’s creativity although the player himself confesses that he would like to see his finishing skills improve.

“I was delighted to get game time against Clare. They were tough opponents but thankfully we came good in the end.

“While I was happy enough with my contribution I would like to have maybe got a score or two,” says McCabe.

His return provides an extra layer of experience within the Fermanagh squad as Canavan steps up the quest for promotion.

While the Ernesiders will be favourites to take maximum points from their trip to London, Canavan — although not then involved with the county — and his players need no reminding of the embarrassment suffered there in the All-Ireland qualifiers last year.

“That particular defeat was obviously hard for Fermanagh to take but this is a new season with a fresh approach,” says Canavan.

“While we were happy to get over the line against Clare I would like to see a more convincing performance in London,” he states.

Fermanagh made what proved to be an abortive journey there two weeks ago, snow ruling out their league opener.

And the county board has actually apologised to fans for the short notice given in relation to this Sunday’s re-fixture.

In a statement, the board says it appreciates the sacrifices that some 400 followers made to get to the first match and acknowledges that it will be difficult for many of them to make a second trip.

“We apologise for the short notice associated with this fixture but this matter was not within our control,” says the statement.

Nonetheless, Fermanagh boss Canavan is anxious to see his side enter a two-week break from league action with four points to their credit.

With teams like Wicklow, Limerick and Leitrim in Division Four, Canavan says there is more than one banana skin on the horizon.

“Getting out of Division Four is never easy. It is very competitive and you have to fight for all the league points you can get.”

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The Ulster hurling side to meet Connacht in the Interpro championship semi-final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Sunday contains no fewer than ten Antrim players and will captained by Ballycastle clubman Cormac Donnelly.

Ulster: G Clarke (Down); A Graffin (Antrim), C Donnelly (Antrim), S Ennis (Down); N McAuley (Antrim), L Hinphey (Derry), S McCrory (Antrim); C Woods (Down), N McManus (Antrim); M Herron (Antrim), K McGarry (Antrim), M Armstrong (Antrim); P McCluskey (Derry), K Stewart (Antrim), S McNaughton (Antrim).

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