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Fermanagh are sweating on McCusker for Monaghan clash


By John Campbell

Fermanagh's prospects of producing a shock against Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Football Championship preliminary round have been delivered a blow now that wing-back Declan McCusker could miss the tie because of a hand injury.

McCusker incurred his injury while assisting his club Ederney against Devenish and is now facing a race against the clock to be ready for the showdown with Malachy O'Rourke's side.

The schoolteacher has been an ever-present in the Fermanagh side this term, but his dynamic performances were not enough to help the Ernemen avoid relegation to Division Three.

And Ryan Jones is also hoping that he will have recovered fully from a back problem in time for the game in Clones on May 20.

Jones can play at midfield or centre-half-forward and, this being the case, could prove a more than useful link in the Fermanagh side against a Monaghan team that will enter the game as hot favourites.

It is a measure of Jones's commitment to the county that on one particular day he travelled to meet renowned herbalist Sean Boylan at his Meath base before heading to Belfast to undergo an MRI scan.

Jones brings presence and power to the Fermanagh side and would certainly prove an asset against Malachy O'Rourke's men.

Fermanagh county board spokesman Pauric McGurn accepts that it will now be touch and go as to whether the team will be anywhere near full-strength for the mission against Monaghan.

"Obviously it is known we are still keeping our fingers crossed for the Corrigan brothers, Tomas and Ruairi, and Eoin McManus all of whom have been battling injuries lately.

"Peter McGrath is naturally keen to get his best side out because Monaghan have been playing in Division One which has provided them with great preparation for the championship."

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