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Enniskillen aim to strike a Ferm blow for county pride this time

By John Campbell

The belief that an exciting corps of youthful football talent is beginning to emerge in Fermanagh will be put to the test tomorrow when Enniskillen Gaels confront Cavan champions Crosserlough in the Ulster Minor Club tournament at Woodlands Playing Fields, Belfast.

The Gaels have won back-to-back Fermanagh Championship titles and in the process matured as a side, to the extent that they are expected to make significant progress in the provincial minor club series which is hosted annually by the St Paul's club from west Belfast.

The Enniskillen management team of John Reilhill and Brendan Dooris see the competition as an opportunity for their side to provide further evidence that the under-age sector is blossoming within the county.

"There is a lot of youthful talent coming through in Fermanagh at the moment and a competition like this provides the ideal shop window for the players to show what they can do," says Dooris.

"I think the under-age sector in our county has been reinvigorated over the past five years or so and we are certainly very focused on doing our bit to show the county in a good light. We did not do as well as we would have liked last year and we want to make up for this."

Eoin Beacom, Johnny Cassidy and Conal Quinn are among the precociously talented Gaels players who will strive to set the tone for tomorrow's performance.

But Dooris sounded a warning in advance of the clash with a Crosserlough side noted for its robust, direct style of football.

"They are a strong, physical side and that's something we must be prepared for," he states.

Meanwhile, referees chief Sean Walsh admits there have been inconsistencies with the application of the black card but says it is "here to stay".

Four black cards were shown in the All-Ireland final and replay - to Dublin pair James McCarthy and Jonny Cooper plus Mayo duo Rob Hennelly and Lee Keegan.

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