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Erne must keep guard up: Garrity

Class act: Joanne Doonan is hoping for the perfect send-off
Class act: Joanne Doonan is hoping for the perfect send-off
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Fermanagh manager Johnny Garrity believes that the confidence which his team has garnered in their surge into tomorrow's All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship final against Louth at Croke Park (11.45am) can stand them in good stead if the heat comes on.

But, just the same, the pragmatic Garrity is under no illusions about the enormity of the task confronting his side.

"Louth have been viewed as favourites for the title all along the line and now that they are in the final they will be keen to claim the trophy," observes the Erne boss. "We need to keep our guard up in this one."

Fermanagh have yet to claim an All-Ireland Championship title at Headquarters, although they won the 2017 crown after a replay against Derry at Clones.

Tomorrow, Garrity will look to Joanne Doonan, Blaithin Bogue, Aishling Woods and hot-shot Eimear Smyth to fire up his team's challenge.

Smyth scored 0-9 in the 0-16 to 3-3 semi-final win over London and could again blossom on the wide open spaces of Croke Park, where her pace and positional play could prove crucial.

Louth's 2015 All-Ireland winning captain Michelle McMahon is still a key player in the side alongside other consistent performers such as Eimear and Susan Byrne, Rebecca Carr, Niamh Rice, Aoife Russell and skipper Kate Flood.

With Doonan set to embark on a new career with Carlton in the Australian Women's League, Fermanagh will be keen to give her the perfect send-off, and if Smyth in particular is in form they might just do that.

In the Senior ladies' final, Dublin will be going for their third title in a row when they meet Galway (4pm).

In the Intermediate decider, Meath will face Tipperary.

In the 2017 final Tipperary beat Tyrone, but in last year's showpiece the Red Hand county defeated Meath, which provides some food for thought.

Belfast Telegraph


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