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Owens hopes to inspire Shamrocks to glory

By John Campbell

Barry Owens had hoped to cement his reputation as one of the best full-backs in the country this year in the Bank of Ireland Football Championship sphere.

He did not quite get the chance to do this because of Fermanagh's early exit from the Ulster Championship at the hands of Tyrone and their demise in the All Ireland Qualifiers when Meath were their conquerors.

But on Sunday the 25-year-old Owens can gain a slice of comfort for what has been a barren summer to date by helping Teemore Shamrocks lift the Quinn Direct Fermanagh senior title at the expense of Newtownbutler in the decider at Lisnaskea (4.00).

To achieve this he will have to outsmart his long-time county colleague Raymond Johnston, a pivotal figure in the Newtownbutler line-up.

The dynamic Owens displays a rare authority and composure - qualities inherent in a player well able to cope with the demands of any occasion.

For Teemore, Sunday's contest could mark their re-emergence into the glory arena.

Newtownbutler, a gritty, rugged outfit who play a smart, direct brand of football can, though, cause the Shamrocks big problems.

If Johnston represents their experienced edge, then the batch of youthful competitors in their line-up are set to ask big questions of the Teemore defence in particular.

And that's when Owens in particular will be asked to stand up and provide the answers.

Fermanagh PRO Deirdre Donnelly believes that the match could well prove to be one of the best Fermanagh finals of recent years.

"The two teams have come through strongly and contain a number of very skilful players. Obviously the focus in games such as this tends to be on county players on both teams but there will be a lot of others in action who could conceivably help to influence the outcome in a big way," says Deirdre.

Belfast Telegraph


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