By Katrina Brennan
FERMANAGH ladies captain Shannan McQuade feels that Sunday’s victory over Carlow was a much-needed boost for the team and could well be the catalyst they needed as they strive for All-Ireland glory.
The 26 year-old helped steer Fermanagh to a 1-13 to 0-9 opening round championship victory in Dunleer, Co Louth.
It was a welcome boost after the disappointment of the Ulster Final defeat to Down a few weeks ago;
“I think after us missing out on the Ulster Final, we needed to have this win under our belt to get that motivation and drive going again. Obviously, a lot of us were disappointed after the Ulster Final, we felt like we deserved it but getting the win (against Carlow) will definitely help drive it on.”
Fermanagh were worthy winners at the weekend and will take great encouragement given the sizeable number of key players that were missing.
“We’re over the moon. We were a right few players down due to injury and players missing, so we were over the moon with the result.
“We only had maybe three subs yesterday and they weren’t used. So, we did well fitness wise to see out the game and often our game management gets away from us but yesterday we did well at controlling the game.”
London provide the next test in just over a weeks’ time and McQuade says the team will be on their guard as they go into round two as favourites;
“We’ll definitely not be going into the London match complacent. They did well against Derry on Saturday, so definitely not.
“That’s what maybe we did in other matches, especially against the likes of Derry, thinking maybe it was going to be easier than it was and we soon found out that it wasn’t going to be an easy match, so we learned our lesson there.”
While McQuade acknowledged there were lots of positives to take from the weekend, there’s still room for improvement;
“There was a lot of times when we were attacking where we had a lot of wides and had balls blocked. Maybe we’ll work on that to get more scores on the board and fewer scores for them as well.”
If Fermanagh can get a win against London on July 1 in Donagh, they’ll be through to the All Ireland semi-finals and McQuade is in buoyant mood that they’re in with a good shout at the top prize;
“I think now that we’ve got over Carlow, that was our big hurdle to get over and it gave us that bit more belief in ourselves that we can go all the way.”