Keenan determined to bounce back

By Pauric McGurn

TOM Keenan will line out for Fermanagh this Saturday when the Erne hurlers begin their quest for Lory Meagher success with an away trip to Leitrim.

The game against the Connacht side will be played at Shane McGettigan Park in Drumshanbo and it’s a chance for the hurlers to get back to winning ways having lost the Division 3B Final to Warwickshire almost two weeks ago.

For 23-year-old Keenan, getting over the league final result to Warwickshire is a must.

“It was a chance to gain some silverware and add more confidence to our play but it just didn’t happen on the day and fair dues to Warwickshire, they hurled really well and took their chances when they came.

“We had two goals at the start of the year, one was to win Division 3B and the other was to win the Lory Meagher Cup, so that starts again for us this Saturday in Drumshanbo.

“We fell short to Warwickshire but to be honest we have already faced them in the league and we also now have them in the Lory Meagher, so it’s actually quite difficult facing the same team over and over.”

Fermanagh will go into this year’s Lory Meagher Cup as one of the favourites. They will be in the competition with all the Division 3B teams from this year, Warwickshire, Longford, Lancashire and Leitrim, as well as Cavan.

“Of course we have targeted the cup,” stated Keenan. “There is no denying it, we have a good squad that know how to hurl and take our chances.

“We are confident in our own ability and we are fully focused on one game at a time and that starts with Leitrim this Saturday. We feel we are above this level but we need to go and do it on the field, favourites tags are okay but believe me, no game of hurling is won on a piece of paper.”

Fermanagh came up short in Division 3A last year and went on to hurl brilliantly in the Nicky Rackard Cup but were ultimately relegated on the last day.

Keenan missed all of last season after an 18-month lay-off after an injury picked up while playing for his club Kinawley.

The final year Queen’s University civil engineering student admits that it was hard watching from the sidelines.

“Not playing last year really emphasises how much you actually miss sport in general and it’s just great being back. I feel great and I am just looking forward to the next game, as always.

“We want to compete with the better sides, it helps our own game and we are confident that we can beat anyone and hurling is certainly getting stronger in the county. Kinawley have been brilliant and so too have Fermanagh hurlers. I haven’t actually played a football match or trained (with Kinawley) since that day in Ederney but at the present time my full focus is on Fermanagh hurlers and later on in the year it will then turn to Kinawley footballers.

“The break has been good to me and I have recovered well, I’m just grateful to everyone and I am really enjoying being back with the lads.”

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