There has been no shortage of highs and lows for Fermanagh Ladies in recent seasons.
There was the run to the All Ireland Intermediate Championship final in 2014 which ended in defeat, the disappointment of last season when the side failed to win a game and now the progress to this Sunday’s All Ireland Junior final.
Experienced captain Aine McGovern has been involved throughout and says that she is keen to make up for the 2014 heartbreak on Sunday against Derry.
“I’m one of six or seven in the panel who have played at Croke Park before as I was part of the panel in 2014 and it is great to get back with a whole new bunch of girls. Hopefully we can go one better this time,” she said.
Indeed, there has been a remarkable turn around in Fermanagh’s fortunes over the last 12 months.
“We suffered last year, there was only the bare minimum available and we went the whole season without winning a game. But we’ve came back out this season to give it another go. You want to be in Croke Park at the end of September so hopefully we can get the win,” added McGovern.
The Kinawley player has seen a raft of new, young players come into the squad this year and says it has taken time for the squad to gel together.
“At the beginning of the year we had the older players who had never played with the younger ones so we all had to get used to each other and that just comes from playing and training together. We have got better and stronger though as the season has gone on and we have good competition for places, everyone is fighting first to get into the squad and then to get into the team.”
Fermanagh needed a point from Aishling Maguire with the last kick of the game to see off London in the semi-final after extra time and Aine feels that battle will have served Fermanagh well.
“London were a good side and we hadn’t come up against that type of a test but thankfully we came through it after extra time. We hung in there and kept clawing back and then Aishling got the winner with the last kick of the game. It was nice to win it in those circumstances and I’m sure a tight game like that has stood to us,” she said.
Next up though is a fifth meeting of the season with Derry and although Fermanagh have won the last four, McGovern is expecting a massive test.
“Every time we have played Derry they have improved. The last game the scoreline didn’t reflect the game and I have no doubt that they will have improved further so we will have to play at our best.”
And what would it mean to Aine to raise the cup aloft if Fermanagh are to win on Sunday?
“It is a great honour to be captain of your county and to go up the steps and lift the cup at Croke Park would be just amazing,” she concluded.