Friday 24 May 2019

'We have huge belief' - Garrity hails Fermanagh's mindset

Fermanagh 2-8 Antrim 1-10

Fermanagh captain Joanne Donnan. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Fermanagh captain Joanne Donnan. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

FERMANAGH manager Jonny Garrity says his players have a savage inner belief that makes them very hard to beat on the big occasion.

Goals from Eimear Smyth and Róisín O'Reilly secured promotion to Division 3 for the Erne county, after a thrilling one-point win over Ulster rivals Antrim at St Tiernach's Park, in Clones, on Saturday.

Lisa Maguire of Fermanagh in action against Maria Hanna and Aoife Taggart of Antrim. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Lisa Maguire of Fermanagh in action against Maria Hanna and Aoife Taggart of Antrim. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Fermanagh were 11 points in arrears when they launched a stunning comeback to see off Limerick in the semi-finals, and in the decider Garrity's players had to withstand a late Antrim rally to gain their first league title in 12 years.

"Things looked bleak at that point, but we showed a great spirit as well as an ability to finish a game very strongly and never give up in believing against Limerick," said Garrity.

"That was key. There is huge belief in this squad and a real hunger to succeed. Again, against Antrim that was evident.

"It is all about enjoying the victory now. We have the Ulster Championship in four or five weeks and an All-Ireland campaign after that to worry about.

Niamh Enright of Antrim in action against Joanne Doonan of Fermanagh. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Niamh Enright of Antrim in action against Joanne Doonan of Fermanagh. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

"Those things are at the forefront of our mind now.

"But in preparation for next year we don't envisage going up to Division 3 to take part, we will go and give the best version of ourselves."

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Antrim had finished fourth after the group phase in Division 4, and Fermanagh had beaten them on February 10, but Sean O'Kane's side took a 1-6 to 1-5 lead into half-time.

Captain Saoirse Tennyson scored the Antrim goal, but as the game swung again in the second-half, Antrim midfielder Lara Dahunsi was shown a yellow card late on before Smyth landed the winner from a free.

"We have got a habit of finishing strongly," said Garrity.

"We have got that in-built mentality that we are never out of it until the final whistle blows.

"Antrim were fantastic and I am just so grateful that we were the ones who had our noses in front when the whistle sounded."

Scorers - Fermanagh: E Smyth 1-6 (3f), R O'Reilly 1-0, B Bogue, J Doonan 0-1 each. Antrim: S Tennyson 1-0, C Carey (2f), M Cooper (1f) 0-3 each, C Taggart 0-2 (1f), A Taggart, M McGourty 0-1 each.

Fermanagh - R Gleeson; M Maguire, E Murphy, M Flynn; M McGloin, C Murphy, S McQuaid; R O'Reilly, A Flanagan; L Maguire, E Smyth, D Maguire; A O'Brien, J Doonan, B Bogue. Subs: A Maguire for Murphy (33-39, blood), A Maguire for McQuaid (41), A Woods for McGloin (45), S Britton for O'Brien (49), D McManus for L Maguire (52), A McGovern for Murphy (63).

Antrim - A McCann; N Killen, M Hanna, O Corr; S Tennyson, C Brown, K Farren; A McFarland, L Dahunsi; C Taggart, C Carey, SL McLaughlin; M Cooper, M McCurdy, A Taggart. Subs: M Magee for C Taggart (half-time), M McGourty for McLaughlin (half-time), N Enright for Farren (40).

ReF - S Curley (Galway)

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