Fermanagh's failure to gain promotion to Division Two of the Allianz Football League proved a bitter pill for manager Peter Canavan but a ray of hope for the Ulster Championship has suddenly penetrated the cloud of gloom.
Scoring ace Sean Quigley, whose playing career had initially been under threat when he sustained a serious ankle injury at the start of March, is now expected to be back in contention for a place in the quarter-final against either Cavan or Armagh on June 16.
Quigley has made a speedy recovery from the injury which he incurred while playing for the Fermanagh Under 21 side against Augher in a challenge match.
Not only did the injury rule him out of captaining the team in the Ulster U21 Championship and the Erne County's remaining games in the Allianz League but it also posed a big question about his involvement in the Ulster Championship and indeed his future.
But Quigley's comeback – he was obliged to wear a 'moon boot' for six weeks – has provided Fermanagh with fresh hope for the province's flagship competition.
He sampled game time for Roslea in a league game at the weekend and has regained his appetite to such an extent that manager Canavan may now allow him to showcase his talents for a spell in the special challenge game against Mayo in aid of the Sam Bradley appeal fund on Saturday.
Little Sam, the 21-month-old son of former Fermanagh player Colm Bradley, is suffering from a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
With Mayo manager James Horan having promised to bring a strong side to Brewster Park on Saturday, home boss Canavan is relishing what will be an important pre-championship outing.
"This match is coming at a good time for us and it's terrific that the Sam Bradley appeal fund will benefit from it," says Canavan.
"We would hope to have a look at players like Sean Quigley and James Sherry and see how they're progressing after their injuries."
The Fermanagh squad and management have already donated £4,000 to the Sam Bradley appeal after fund-raising initiatives.