Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

O'Rourke aims to Erne win

Fermanagh's Eamonn Maguire will be looking to continue his recent good form when his side tackle Wexford on Sundaay in their crucial league clash

Fermanagh manager Malachy O'Rourke knows that his side face the ultimate six-pointer when Wexford arrive in the Erne county on Sunday.

Victory for the home side would allow them to put one foot in Division Two for next season although O'Rourke is ultra-cautions as the countdown continues to a game that is expected to attract a huge attendance.

"We managed to hold out for a good victory over Sligo last Sunday but Wexford will be more confident and perhaps more physical and skilful. This is a big test for us and will show us just how much we have progressed," maintains O'Rourke.

And nowhere will Fermanagh be more strenuously tested than at midfield.

That's where Mark Murphy and James Sherry have been forming a useful partnership lately and the fact that they each scored three points against Sligo underlines their ability to assist their attack.

Indeed, the return of Martin McGrath from suspension will further increase competition for places in the Erne starting line-up.

Matthew Keenan, Mark Little and Eamonn Maguire are also blossoming in the Erne attack right now while Ryan McCluskey, now performing superbly at centre-half-back having been with Dungannon Swifts not so long ago, and the dependable Shane Goan underpin a defence that has looked reasonably solid to date.

Wexford, for whom Mattie Forde represents a substantial solo threat, are nonetheless far from being a one-man show.

Philip Wallace and Colm Morris are quality defenders who will doubtless spark strong resistance to Fermanagh's overtures up front.

A Fermanagh win would not only virtually guarantee the side promotion but would take them closer to divisional honours - and that's a double whammy that would be hugely acceptable to O'Rourke and his troops.

"Obviously for us to get into Division Two would be a bonus but there are three more rounds of the league left and anything can happen. It's probably a help to have home advantage against Wexford and we want to make the most of it but they will be very, very keen to get back on top of the table again," states O'Rourke.

Fermanagh county board officials plan to push the boat out on this one, conscious that the presentation - and winning - of the game will prove a major boon to the image of the GAA within the county.

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