Erne County set for Down

By Niall Gartland

FERMANAGH paid the price for their wastefulness in front of goals in their last day out against Offaly, and they’ll know they’ll need to produce a better performance if they’re to consign Down to defeat in Ederney this weekend.

Kieran Donnelly’s side racked up ten wides across the hour, indicative of a game where both sets of forward lines failed to produce their best. Afterwards, manager Kieran Donnelly stated frankly that it was a game “neither team deserved to win”, and it’ll be interesting to see whether they fare better on their home territory against the Mourne County.

Fermanagh aren’t in dire straits by any means – they claimed an impressive win over struggling Longford on their first day out – but another defeat or two and they could be dragged into a relegation battle.

Manager Kieran Donnelly is sweating on the fitness of Che Cullen and young Ronan McCaffrey this week, two key defenders, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he hands forward Garvan Jones a starting berth, given he came on in the second-half against Offaly and weighed in with two points from play and a free. He’ll also be looking for more from players of the calibre of Sean Quigley and Ultan Kelm, who were relatively quiet against Offaly.

Down will be smarting by the loss of Barry O’Hagan to a long-term injury, but they’ll also be keen to put in an improved performance after they struggled past Antrim a fortnight ago. On the whole, their formline is better than Fermanagh’s so they’ll be slight favourites to take the spoils in what could turn out to be quite a claustrophobic game with a fair amount at stake

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