Fermanagh ladies panel in better nick for relegation clash says Garrity

By Niall Gartland

THE Fermanagh ladies were hit by Covid-related complications ahead of last month’s championship group stage defeat to Clare, but manager Jonny Garrity is happy to report that they’re in much better nick for their relegation play-off clash against Offaly this Sunday.

Fermanagh were absent six players on their last day out, including star forward Eimear Smyth, and the bitterly disappointing thing is that the LGFA didn’t permit Garrity to make up the numbers by bringing a few new girls into the panel.

But time marches on and the Fintona native is hopeful that they can ensure their Intermediate Championship survival with a win against Offaly this weekend.

“That week was very disjointed as we had six girls unavailable due to a Covid outbreak. it was just bad timing, we had one or two other wee injuries as well so we were well-depleted. It wasn’t to be but we’re glad to have had a month’s break since that match.”

Asked whether he sought a postponement, Garrity said: “I didn’t think there was any point. We’d seen similar situations with other counties.

“We approached the LGFA early in the week as we had one girl at that stage who had tested positive with Covid, to see if we could get someone else in the 30, and they said we couldn’t. Over the course of the week one turned into six and we went ahead with a matchday squad of 24 rather than 30.”

Reigning Junior champions Fermanagh have been quite unfortunate this season, as when they’ve lost games it’s usually been by a point or two. Garrity doesn’t want to complain about being ‘unlucky’, however, and they’re facing an Offaly side who have had a decent season even though they failed to get out of Division Four.

“I’m loathe to even talk about luck because as a management and as a team, we work hard to take luck out of the equation. We put preparation front and centre.

“This season has been ridiculous though, there’s been a lot of things that have gone against us be it refereeing decisions and Covid outbreaks. That’s been difficult but we’ve constantly looked to the next game and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

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