By Mark McGoldrick
AS the saying goes, semi-finals are about winning, and that is the key message from James Daly as the Fermanagh ladies prepare for a huge Saturday’s All-Ireland Junior Championship semi against Limerick at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (2pm).
“At the start of the year, we targeted this and we’ve achieved what we set out to do. The girls are buzzing,” said the Erne boss.
“The main focus has to be to get to the All-Ireland final and win it and we’re not just in this to make up the numbers.”
Following last weekend’s comfortable eight-point victory over Derry, the Erne ladies topped their respective round-robin group, securing their place in the last four of the competition.
As he reflects on the game, Daly is pleased with how his experienced players stood up to the challenge and saw out the game.
“I’ve complained all year about our girls not playing or finishing out the full game,” said the Fermanagh ladies manager.
“The girls have a lot of experience and they played a really controlled game.
“A lot of them were very measured in what they do and for them 60/40 kicks, we kept the ball instead of kicking it.”
Blaithin Bogue led the way for Fermanagh against Derry, scoring an impressive 1-6. The most pleasing aspect for Daly was that the Erne ladies had eight different scorers in total in the game.
“Our half-back line is popping up with scores, our midfielders are and our half-forward line in Danny (Maguire), Lisa (Maguire) and Sarah (Britton) are coming into their own,” added Daly.
On Saturday, the Erne ladies face a formidable challenge when they take on Limerick. Daly’s expecting a huge test from the Munster side.
“We know that they (Limerick) play a similar game to us,” said the Erne boss. “They’re a counter-attacking team, they keep players behind the ball and they want their main players on the ball.
“Cathy Mee is very good at carrying the ball and setting up scores and Roisin Ambrose is in midfield and she is a fabulous player.
“We know who their best players are and it’s up to us to put a game plan in place,” added the Dromintee man.
A few days out from the All-Ireland semi-final, Daly reports a clean bill of health.
“You always have some knocks but for the most part, everyone is available to play some part in the game,” explained the Erne manager.
“Ash (Maguire) has come back from injury and while she hasn’t had much football during that time, she’s been doing a lot of work and she is looking very sharp in training.
“Roísín (O’Reilly) is gearing up towards being back and being able to play some part in the game on Saturday,” he added.