Injuries mount for Fermanagh

By Pauric McGurn

THE Erne County have enjoyed a positive start to Division Two football with a fine draw on the road in their opening fixture, but Kieran Donnelly is mindful that they have quite a number of injuries to contend with at present.

Fermanagh mustered a draw against Meath last weekend and the action keeps on coming as they host Kildare this Saturday.

On the injury front, Fermanagh will be hoping that an extra week’s rest for the likes of Jonny Cassidy, Darragh McGurn, Fionan O’Brien, Rian McGovern and Ryan Lyons will help, but Donnelly expects most of them to miss Saturday’s game.

“Sadly the injury front is starting to build but like everything that is part and parcel of football.

“The likes of Jonny, Darragh and Rian are all still a bit away. Fionan O’Brien is probably the closest to making a return but he is awaiting the all clear from the doctors.”

Kildare lost their first round game with Cavan, 0-12 to 0-16 in Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. The Lilywhites will be keen on getting off the mark at the second time of asking so it could be a big test for the Erne County.

“Kildare will be another huge test and a big challenge for the players. A home game is a real incentive for the players to lay down a marker for the season and it’s back in Enniskillen again,” Donnelly added.

A few key names departed the Fermanagh panel at the very outset, but so far the signs are positive that the Erne County have enough strength-in-depth to cope with those losses. Indeed, Donnelly thought they could’ve taken the two points on offer in a promising performance against reigning Tailteann Cup champions Meath.

“We could have sneaked it late on, no doubt, however, I’m sure Meath are thinking the exact same thing but it’s a hard-earned point and it’s a good start for us on the road with three further away games to come.”

Fermanagh’s Cian McManus and Mathew Costello both had chances for their respective sides in injury time but in the end it was a draw game.

“Meath really came at us strong late on and a big crowd were certainly roaring them on, but fair play to our lads, they stayed calm under pressure of a very big and physical Meath team. With 10 minutes to go and Meath coming strong onto us I certainly would have taken a point.”

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