By Katrina Brennan
FERMANAGH ladies captain Shannan McQuade has been around the county scene long enough to know that Ulster finals are not easily won. The Tempo club player made her intercounty debut ten years ago and was appointed captain this season by James Daly. She believes this squad of players has a point to prove on Saturday afternoon when they line out against Down.
“I think a lot of people see us as a junior team and that we’re happy to compete in juniors, but we want to go out and prove a point that we’re not happy with being junior.
“We’ve played before at intermediate (level) and we were in the All-Ireland Intermediate final before, so we want to push on and show people that we’re not junior and not be the ‘wee Fermanagh team’ that everyone thinks (we are).”
This is Fermanagh’s second meeting with Down in the last month, having already drawn with them in a low-scoring outing at the end of April. McQuade is well aware of what’s needed when they meet on Saturday afternoon in Moy.
“I think we only scored one score from play (the last day) so it’s something we’ve definitely focused on since then and especially in the Derry match, it wasn’t the one person doing all the scoring. We do rely heavily on Blaíthín (Bogue) and going into Derry that was going to be one of our aims, there was going to be more than one scorer and that we weren’t going to be overly reliant on her. It’s just building the confidence in other girls to take it on themselves and the pass off to Blaíthín is not always the thing we have to do.”
Against Derry in the second round tie, Fermanagh lorded it over their Oak Leaf opponents winning 3-10 to 1-10 and got seven different scorers on the board. McQuade herself being one of them after she chipped in with a point. Getting on the scoresheet is not the norm for the 26-year-old, St Kevin’s PE teacher, she admitted.
“I came home and my mother asked me how did I do that, so, that’s how often I score! When mum’s saying that, it’s not good!” she laughed.
“I just prefer everyone to get on the scoring, if you’re in the right position. It’s not often I am in the right position” she said. “But I was the last day and I took my shot and hopefully that encourages everyone else, if they’re seeing me doing it, they could maybe do it too.”
McQuade hails from a footballing family, her older brothers both represented Fermanagh. Darren played senior with the county and Lee played at underage level.
They’re Coa through and through but the lack of a ladies team in the club meant that she joined Tempo to pursue her love of the game.
Asked where her loyalties lie, it’s certainly the black and amber that gets the nod; “I support both but if Coa was playing Tempo, I’d support Coa,” she laughs.
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