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Roslea Shamrocks can put Fermanagh on the map

By Declan Bogue

Suggest that football in Fermanagh is at a low ebb at present and you would search far and wide within the county without finding an argument.

However, this weekend brings some consolation with Roslea Shamrocks being handed what many will see as a kind draw, against first-time Cavan champions Ballinagh, in the Ulster club Championship (throw-in Sunday, Brewster Park, 2.30pm).

It is a competition that no Fermanagh team have won a game in since Enniskillen Gaels beat Gowna in the 2002 semi-final, something that Shamrocks full-back Niall Cassidy describes as a "shocking statistic".

Cassidy produced a brilliant performance on the edge of the square against Belcoo's Stephen Maguire that went a long way to securing victory in the county final.

At the other end, the Quigley brothers Seamus and Sean hit 1-10 between them.

Speaking this week, Cassidy said: "For Roslea to make it to an Ulster club semi-final would be tremendous, especially with everything that's going on in the county at the moment. It would show Fermanagh is not as bad as what some people in other counties tend to think."

Roslea are celebrating their 125th year within the senior and junior Championships, but know they need to make an impression in Ulster. This is their third foray in four years and after regrouping last season when Tempo stole in to claim a Championship, this team have never been better prepared.

Reflecting on their Championship win in 2010, Cassidy explains: "When we played Coalisland it was our first game in Ulster since 1986 so it was new to the whole squad.

"Our second chance, against Burren in 2011, was a game in which it passed us by and James Sherry being ruled out of that game with a broken jaw was a huge blow to our chances.

"This year we have no excuses, we are much stronger and experienced and we believe in ourselves that we can do it."

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