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McCabe up for challenge with Belcoo

By John Campbell

When pursuing his soccer career with Portadown and Glentoran Shane McCabe never envisaged that a Fermanagh senior football championship medal might be within his sporting gambit.

But tomorrow the effervescent playmaker will have a key role in a Belcoo O'Rahillys side that will bid to shock warm favourites Roslea Shamrocks in the Erne decider at Brewster Park, Enniskillen (3.30pm).

There may be a strong focus on just who will succeed Peter Canavan as Fermanagh manager and the team's Ulster championship quarter-final against Antrim next year is already a talking point, but for the moment the club final holds the spotlight.

The teams will lock horns against sharply contrasting backgrounds. While Roslea have won two county titles within the past three years under the capable baton of Peter McGinnity, Belcoo have yet to have their name inscribed on the trophy.

Indeed, it's 25 years since they were last in the final but McCabe's positive outlook typifies the spirit in Damian Gormley's side.

"We feel we have improved as we have moved along but we know we have to reach a higher level on Sunday. That's the challenge for us," said McCabe.

Having unleashed his talents with Fermanagh during the summer without quite achieving the success he had hoped for, McCabe is anxious to see Belcoo create history tomorrow.

"This is a big opportunity for us and we want to try and maximise it if we can," he said

"Roslea will be keen to build on their recent progress but our aim will be to give our possible display and see where that takes us."

Along with ex-Fermanagh ace Stephen Maguire, the dependable Brian Cox and ace marksman Johnny Feeley, McCabe forms an experienced corps within a Belcoo side that certainly set tongues wagging when they beat Derrygonnelly Harps in the semi-final.

Impressive though this display was, it was matched by Roslea's disposal of fancied Ederney.

Their recent championship title successes have helped to breed confidence within the Shamrocks line-up and this added to the experience of players like James Sherry, Seamus Quigley, Niall Cosgrove and Peter Sherry makes them a formidable outfit.

This will be their fourth final in five years but manager McGinnity insists that this guarantees his side "precisely nothing". "Belcoo have come through strongly this year and won't fear us," he said.

"They have good players and they will be very keen to get their hands on the title. Having said that we have our own ambitions but we are certainly looking no further than tomorrow's game."

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