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Fermanagh go west to put their unblemished record on the line


By Declan Bogue

A raft of postponed fixtures have crammed into this weekend that was supposedly meant to have been kept 'free' for a rest, and to leave some room for the Sigerson Cup to breathe.

However, the bad weather put paid to that intention last weekend, so Fermanagh must gear up again to face Sligo tomorrow in Markievicz Park, seeking to preserve their 100% record after wins over Wexford and Offaly in Brewster Park.

This will be their first game on the road, but they are able to call on Ryan Jones, who has been in a rich vein of scoring form but missed out on the Offaly game with a suspension accrued in the first day out against Wexford.

It should not be long before the Corrigan brothers are added to the available playing roster, and with the Quigley brothers, the addition of Danny Teague this season as well as Paul McCusker and Ryan Lyons, it is a decent-looking attacking unit, while there is no doubt the influence of Ryan McMenamin is announcing itself in some good defensive performances so far.

One team looking to pick up their first points of the season at the other end of Division Three is Derry.

They have Offaly coming to Celtic Park tomorrow, with the midlanders having the worst record of any side in this division.

Oak Leaf manager Damian McErlain has reluctantly parted company with corner-back Niall Keenan and auxiliary player Ciaran McFaul this week. Both players intend to travel to America this summer and would not be available for their Championship campaign.

With them desperately needing points, they may find them against an Offaly side who are badly struggling.

In Division One, Monaghan will be hoping to keep a winning run going after they got off the mark against Kildare in the last round.

They have Kerry coming to Inniskeen in aanother re-fixture from last weekend, called off because of a hard frost and snow.

Last year Monaghan managed a win on the road against the Kingdom and it went a long way to guaranteeing they played in the top flight for the fourth consecutive year under Malachy O'Rourke.

Kerry turned over Mayo in their last game a fortnight ago, following on from their opening day defeat of Donegal.

While Conor McManus continues to recover from injury they have found another prolific prospect in David Garland.

The final game to have been lost to the snow last weekend was Cavan and Meath in Kingspan Breffni Park. The delay in the fixture allows Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan to get his house in order and with a number of players on the injury list, some big names such as Gearoid McKiernan, Seanie Johnston and Cian Mackey could be on their way back sooner rather than later.

The Ulster Under-21 club Championship at Creggan Kickhams reaches its climax tomorrow at 2pm when the two strongest sides in the competition in Donegal's Gaoth Dobhair and Lavey of Derry square up.

The talent on the sidelines is mighty impressive. Gaoth Dobhair have Tom Beag Gillespie in charge, a man who has overseen the revolution of youth coaching in the club, and his selector is Donegal two-time All-Star, Kevin Cassidy.

The Derry club have Seamus Downey, the Derry All-Ireland winning player from 1993, along with the legendary figure of John Brennan.

Gaoth Dobhair boast a number of players who have won All-Ireland underage honours with their county, with current county senior Michael Carroll and Niall Friel, although they have Cian Mulligan and Ciaran Gillespie on the injured list.

In the opposite corner, Lavey have Thomas Donnelly who has been in serious scoring form throughout the tournament.

Belfast Telegraph


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