A serious injury to Newtownbutler forward Gaby Jones following an accidental collision led to Saturday’s Junior Championship semi-final between them and Derrylin being abandoned.

Jones was taken to hospital in an ambulance after suffering a punctured lung and broken ribs in the collision.

At the point the game was abandoned it was Derrylin who looked to be in control as they led by five points with the game in the final quarter but O’Connells manager Aidan Gilroy was in no doubt that the right call was made by the officials to call the game off.

“The referee had no other choice but to abandon it, it was the right decision as player safety is paramount. Football goes out the window at that stage,” he said.

“We wish the player the very best and hopefully he will make a full and speedy recovery and will soon be back out on the pitch,” he added.

The sides will meet again this Sunday at 3pm back in Roslea and Gilroy is looking for his side to produce a similar or better performance to the one that had them in a strong position last week.

“It’s a case of as you were, it’s back to the start of the game and we know that we are facing a very good opponent and it is going to be no easier this week.

“I suppose both sides now know each other a bit better after that game and it is now about trying to produce a performance and getting into the final.

“Hopefully if we can produce a performance like we did last week or even a bit better then we will be able to get the result but we are expecting a tough test,” he said.

Newtown manager Vinny Wimsey says that the loss of Jones is just another injury to add to the list.

“He has a punctured lung and a couple of broken ribs and hopefully he is getting out today (Wednesday). That is him out for the rest of the year.

“These things happen unfortunately again and we have been plagued by injuries, we are not getting a run of luck. We also lost Lee Martin with a bad groin tear,” he said.

Wimsey had been disappointed with his side’s display last week and revealed that a number of players apologised for their performance.

“We never got into the game whatsoever, we never got started one bit apart from Niall Mohan, Jimmy Maguire and Gary Mullaney.

“I had a very serious talk with the lads and there were a lot of apologies.

“I suppose a lot of it boils down to confidence and self belief. We had not won a championship game since 2016 so this was a total rebuilding exercise and we had to have a different outlook as to how the team looks at itself,” he added.

The First Fermanaghs boss knows they need to show more consistency and he is hopeful that will come this year.

“Situations like that you are going to get scenarios where the consistency isn’t there. I have said from day one, certain lads standing up at certain times and trying to get the whole thing to click at the one time that will happen, it’s just a matter of is this year a step too far, I hope not.”

He states though that Newtown are looking forward to the challenge this Sunday as they look to progress to the Junior Championship final.

“They are looking forward to Sunday and trying to rectify their performance last week.

“Its given us a real good insight into where Derrylin are, what they are about so it’s second chance for us,” he commented.