McGourty pride as Erne County end wait for Ulster title

By Martin McBrien

A FEELING of pride was how CJ McGourty summed up Fermanagh’s first Ulster title in eight years following their provincial Junior success against Derry.

“Very proud of the girls, very proud of the county, very proud of the committee,” beamed Fermanagh manager McGourty, who saw his team record a facile 6-14 to 0-10 win.

After news spread of the sad passing of Martina McMahon which inevitably ruled the experienced Joanne Doonan out of the game, McGourty made some late changes to his team and he was pleased with how they reacted;

“The first half I thought was outstanding. Te second half, we did what we had to do but we also won the second half, so I’m very proud of the group of players.

“We used the Carlow game during the week to focus us. We didn’t want to dwell too much on it but we had to get a wee bit of ammunition.

“In the first half they were like a house on fire, it wasn’t that they were up and down, they were using the ball properly, 3-9 from play in an Ulster final in the first half, that probably got the job done.

“In the second half they showed the team that they are. I thought their attitude was spot on and that’s a credit to the management team, credit to the County Board and a credit to the players. We knew coming in here that we’d have to earn it, we couldn’t turn up here to just to pick up a trophy, we had to to play well to win it and I thought we did that in the first half”.

He also paid tribute to his management team who deserve a lot of credit, he said;

“A lot of people have mentioned to me how fit the girls were, how focussed they were, and that’s a credit to Kane Connor’s conditioning. He’s been around, he knows the craic, an outstanding individual.

“I touched lucky there with a Fermanagh man but a Fermanagh man who knows what he’s talking about and in that aspect, Conor McGovern does unbelievable work on the videos, Sean McCartney looks after all the logistics. That makes it easy for me to go and try and coach.”

McGourty has been in the role six months but believes it’s going to take another three or four to get this team to where he wants them to be.

“We’re starting to build towards that and that’s the positive but it’s only one day’s work.

“We’ll take the Ulster title, enjoy the night and restart next week.”

With a difficult All Ireland series ahead, McGourty knows there’s lots of improvements to be made;

“Derry’s our first game, we can’t take our feet off the gas, we have to get better, today won’t win us an All-Ireland, we have to improve.

“We’ll get there, I trust and I believe in this group of players, they believe in us, we’ll just keep working week by week to try and improve.”

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