Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

O'Rourke expecting fireworks

When Fermanagh hosted Wexford in the National League recently, the Division Two fixture at Lisnaskea provided plenty of fireworks.

It was a tough, unrelenting contest marked by a fracas just as the players were leaving the field at half-time - an incident which resulted in Erne defender Shane Goan receiving a red card.

Now Malachy O'Rourke's side will face up to Wexford again on Sunday in the divisional final at Parnell Park, Dublin (12.15) knowing that the Leinster outfit will be thirsting for victory.

"Although the teams finished all-square a couple of weeks ago, I think Wexford thought that they should have won the game. They will certainly be up for Sunday's match, you can be sure of that," says O'Rourke.

Wexford shooting star Mattie Forde was sent off again last Sunday after receiving two yellow cards but will be back to form a huge threat to the Fermanagh rearguard.

As well as being a skilful forward, Forde also possesses a physical threat and is invariably a hot handful for any defender.

"He certainly needs to be treated with the utmost respect," says O'Rourke.

Former Allstar, Forde, has been Wexford's highest scorer in the league to date but they are far from a one-man show.

The experienced John Hudson, the team's former captain, may still be missing through injury but Ciaran Lyng and P J Banville form a menacing full-forward line along with Forde.



Colm Morris and Philip Wallace are solid defenders and the Fermanagh attack found scores difficult to come by in the recent drawn game.

However, with Tom Brewster back in the frame and players like Shane Lyons, James Sherry, Matthew Keenan, Ryan Keenan, Damien Kelly and the imposing Ryan McCluskey making their presence felt, Fermanagh are well-equipped to meet the challenge.

Ryan Keenan's well-taken goal proved crucial in the defeat of Down last weekend and manager O'Rourke has since hailed the appetite and attitude revealed by his players.

"But we will need to show even more of this on Sunday if we are to win. I expect this to be an even tougher match than we had at Lisnaskea - Wexford are a strong side with quality players," adds O'Rourke.

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