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Canavan anger at bone-breaking fouls

Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan claims that his players are going to have to "earn respect" for themselves if heavy challenges like those that inflicted serious injuries on two of his players continue to go unpunished.

Captain Eoin Donnelly had a leg broken in the Allianz League match against Monaghan, while Ruairi Corrigan sustained a broken jaw in an Ulster U-21 championship game against Armagh.

Canavan said that Fermanagh were "annoyed" about these injuries in particular and suggested there would have been "uproar" had the challenges gone unpunished in matches involving the bigger-name counties.

The Tyrone legend, in his second season as Fermanagh manager, pointed out that he has no issue with general refereeing standards.

However, he believes that action should have been taken in both instances involving his players.

"Eoin Donnelly was on the receiving end of a sliding tackle that broke his leg. Not only was no free given but Monaghan went up the field and got a free and we had a player booked for protesting," he recalled.

"We were very aggrieved with that decision and that nothing was done about it. Young Ruairi Corrigan received a broken jaw from a late tackle and again there was very little said or done about it.

"We were disappointed at the time and a lot of people in the county were angry from the point of view that they believe Fermanagh are often on the receiving end of bad decisions.

"If it were one of the bigger counties, there would have been uproar about those decisions.

"It's something we're going to have to address on the pitch and make sure that we earn respect."

Canavan's opinion on refereeing remains quite upbeat, despite these incidents.

"I'm not criticising the refereeing standard in Division 3 because generally it was good. I'm just picking out a couple of serious incidents," he said.

Fermanagh play Mayo tomorrow night in aid of the 'Together for Sam' fund, which aims to raise money for the treatment for 21-month-old Sam Bradley, son of former Fermanagh player Colm, who has a rare form of cancer.

Irish Independent