Free-scoring Fermanagh ladies chase another win

By Shaun Casey

NO team across the entire Ladies National Football League has come close to racking up the scores that CJ McGourty’s Fermanagh have managed this season. His Erne County side has notched an incredible combined tally of 111 points in five games.

The Division Four table toppers, who have amassed four wins and one draw so far in the campaign, have accumulated 11 points more than their closest challengers and the team that sits behind them in the league, Leitrim.

Fermanagh posted the outstanding tally of 10-12 in their recent 37-point demolition of Kilkenny and have hit at least one goal in every game they’ve played.

“We’re trying to play an attacking brand of football,” said former Antrim footballer and Tyrone hurler McGourty.

“Kilkenny are on a development plan for the next four or five years but we were delighted with the performance. I’d be of the philosophy that if you don’t score you don’t win matches and I suppose that’s coming from my playing days.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m up to speed with the game and you have to have a defensive structure in place as well – but when you have the ball you have to hurt teams going the other direction and we’re trying to play a kicking game and I think that’s benefiting us.

“I want to play an attacking brand of football when possible. I think over the last couple of weeks we’ve imrpvoed our performances to get more scores on the board, but we still have a wee bit of work to do on that aspect as well.”

Fermanagh take on Limerick on Sunday afternoon and while the Munster ladies didn’t have the best start to the campaign, picking up one point from their first two games, they’re currently on a three-game unbeaten run.

The long journey ahead presents another logistical headache for McGourty, but his side are looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re taking about leaving at 6:45am (on Sunday morning) so when you take that into perspective, it becomes a lot more difficult.

“Limerick have had a mixed start to the league, but I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that they’re starting to bed in a couple of the girls from last year that were probably on an extended break.

“They were in the All-Ireland (Junior) final last year and they lost to Down by a couple of points so there’s no doubt they’re a decent team and they’ll probably not be overly happy with their start.

“They’re starting to get back to full strength so we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a massive challenge. They’re probably gunning for points because they’re sitting fourth in the league and it’s the top four that qualify (for the league semi-finals).

“It’s a massive game for them but it’s a massive game for us too, if we win we qualify for the semi-finals and that’s our first goal of the year and if we win then that’ll be achieved.”

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