Fermanagh star McCarville ready for the step up

By Niall McCoy

FERMANAGH half-back Sarah McCarville is confident that the Erne side can make their mark at intermediate level after another ringing endorsement of their capabilities last weekend.

The Aghadrumsee player was awarded the number seven  jersey in the Ladies Junior Team of the Year announced on Saturday evening, joining teammates Shauna Murphy, Róisín O’Reilly, Aisling Maguire and Eimear Smyth on the team.

Smyth, for the second year in-a-row, was also named Junior Player of the Year having led the attack as the county claimed the All-Ireland title last December – and McCarville is looking forward to the step up to intermediate level later this season.

“We have a good mixture of girls. We have a lot of younger girls coming up and the older ones as well,” said McCarville.

“I can see us, well hopefully anyway, competing at intermediate level.

“We just need to keep working on it, building on the positives from last year and pushing on. I can definitely see us putting our stamp on intermediate.”

The award put the cap on a fine returning season for McCarville.

She was with the squad in 2017 but took two years out due to college commitments. Her comeback was vital as Jonny Garrity’s team came through some tight encounters before fending off Wicklow in the final at Parnell Park.

An All-Ireland title was the ultimate reward, but the individual recognition was welcomed too – even if it did catch the player by surprise.

“It definitely was a great night.  I was a bit shocked and I wasn’t expecting it at all,” McCarville said.

“It was nice.  I was sitting watching it with the family and they were all a bit shocked!

“I played in 2017 but then I was in uni in Belfast so I wasn’t home very often so I didn’t play for two years.

“Then I came back out last season and it worked out well.”

McCarville also paid tribute to the other Fermanagh players honoured in the team, particularly hot-shot Smyth.

“They are such a great bunch and so many of them could have been on that team too.

“It’s great to see Eimear win that. She really deserved it. She’s a very talented girl.

“Shauna, Aisling and Róisín, they all thoroughly deserved their awards. It was great to see them getting the recognition.”

There was also joy for Antrim as  Saoirse Tennyson was named at centre half-back on the Team of the Year at junior level.

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