Fermanagh ladies bidding to bounce back

Fermanagh v Derry
Sunday, O’Neill’s Healy Park, 1.45pm

FERMANAGH ladies are aiming to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Antrim when they take on Derry in the curtain-raiser to the men’s meeting against Tyrone this Sunday.

The Erne County already have a game under their belts, losing by six points to Antrim, whereas this is Derry’s first outing of their Ulster campaign.

These two sides met in the league and Fermanagh claimed a comprehensive victory over Derry on that occasion. It hasn’t been a straightforward season with Derry and they’ve changed management mid-course with Doire Trasna’s Paul Simpson taking over from Odhran McNeilly.

Simpson led Derry to Ulster Championship victories at minor at u-16 level, so he has the credentials, but it’s been a tricky season and numbers are understood to be low at training.

Fermanagh are managed by experienced Dromintee man James Daly and he was disappointed by their ‘nervous’ performance against Antrim last weekend.

“I’m very disappointed, we were beaten by six points in the end, we were poor, we let a lot of balls through our hands, we were very nervous,” he said.

“We had a strong wind in the first half but we came in too close at half time for such a strong wind as we had.

“We knew then we were going to have to carry the ball in the second half and we just gave the ball away too many times, you can’t do that not get punished.

“We made the same mistakes in the first half, carrying the ball out of defence, I’m just very disappointed”.

Nevertheless, both sides will be looking forward to playing in front of a large attendance in the curtain raiser to the Tyrone-Derry game at Healy Park on Sunday. It remains to be seen what sort of line-up Derry put out, but one of the notable aspects of Fermanagh’s opening championship match was that they played outfield star Roisin Gleeson in goals, and she played very well, making a number of fine saves.

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