Ernemen look to “Tipp” the Balance
By Mark Mc Goldrick
Both of these teams will come into Round 2 of the Allianz National Football League desperate to get their first two points on the board seeing that neither side could do enough to produce the winning result to kick-start their campaign. Fermanagh will go into Round 2 with more confidence than the “Premier County” as they got their first point of the League, a draw with Cork, with Derrygonnelly Harps sharp – shooter Conall Jones converting his “Offensive Mark” in the latter stages of the game. The last gasp salvage by Fermanagh will be sure to leave them confident and hopeful whenever they set off to Tipperary.
Tipperary, meanwhile, also found it hard to get their rhythm going in the early stages of their opening game against Meath. With Meath having the advantage of a strong wind, they rattled off score after score with Tipp left with a mountain to climb. Tipperary’s Larry Boland fisted over Tipp’s first point from play in the 26th minute. Tipperary needed something to happen before the break and sure enough, three minutes before the interval, they hit the net. The goal came from the penalty spot and the boot of full – forward Conor Sweeney. Meath began the Second Half like they had started the first outscoring Tipp by 0:03 to 0:01 in the first 10 minutes. The Munster contingent, meanwhile, reeled off four points in a row with three of those points from free – taker Conor Sweeney. Tipperary tied the scores up at 1:07 to 0:10 and left it in the balance with 15 minutes to go. Meath finished strong and Tipperary left Pairc Tailteann without a result, leaving everything to play for this weekend against Fermanagh.
Fermanagh boss Rory Gallagher will be satisfied with his sides performance in the Second Half especially against the Rebels, trailing by 3 points at the interval but hitting five quick points in succession the third quarter with Aidan Breen, Declan McCusker, Ciaran Corrigan, Danny Teague and Sean Quigley all notching over scores. Conall Jones rescued a point for the Ernemen converting an “Offensive Mark” to set Fermanagh’s League performances off to a positive start. A good sign for Gallagher that his side are becoming accustomed to the new rules.
Tipperary may be hampered by the absence of their 2017 All – Star Forward Michael Quinlivan as well as 2018 Captain Robbie Kiely and Bill Maher who all missed out on the action in Navan last weekend. With Tipperary reliant on full – forward Conor Sweeney for scores, with the talisman hitting 1:03 last weekend, Fermanagh Supporters will be hoping that All – Star Nominated Full – Back Che Cullen will be tasked with marshalling the Ballyporeen sharp – shooter.
Fermanagh will be hoping that they forwards are on fine scoring form on Sunday because no doubt Tipperary will pack their defence to keep scores to a minimum. With the likes of towering figures, Eoin Donnelly and Ryan Jones, winning primary ball in the middle sector mixed with lots of pace in the Erne side, it may be a long afternoon for Liam Kearns’ side.
Both Gallagher and Kearns know the importance of every point for survival in such a competitive group as Division 2. Fermanagh will be the more confident side going into this tie with a point already on the board. A close encounter is expected. Fermanagh to win.