Despite the uncertainty around her own involvement in this weekend’s All-Ireland Junior semi-final, Fermanagh Ladies Captain Courteney Murphy has full confidence that her side can book a place in the final for the second consecutive year.

A hand injury ruled the Kinawley defender out of the win over Carlow last weekend, and she admits it was tough to watch the game from the sidelines.

“It was hard watching it. I didn’t really enjoy it, the last time. Your nerves don’t be well, especially in tight games,” said Murphy.

The two-point win over Carlow was enough to book a semi-final spot against Limerick, and Murphy could see the improvement in the team’s performance from their first outing, a defeat to Wicklow.

“The first 15 minutes, it was flat-out, end-to-end sort of stuff. We scored a goal, they scored a goal.

“But we just settled into the game a lot better than we did against Wicklow; got more scores. There was a bit more fluency to the way we were playing, but in saying that, it went right down to the last few minutes and we didn’t know if were going to hang on for the win, and lucky enough, we did.

“The Wicklow game was our first game back after a long lay-off and it wasn’t our best performance, but you could see an improvement against Carlow.

“So, hopefully, we will be carrying that into the next game and continuing to improve because we know ourselves, against Carlow, it wasn’t the perfect article either, so there was a lot to improve on.”

Fermanagh and Limerick have not come across each other this year but they played twice last year in the league, including the league semi-final.

In that game, Fermanagh staged a remarkable comeback, but Murphy remembers that the Shannonsiders were a formidable outfit and expects nothing less again this time round.

“They are very strong down the middle, and they would be a very physical team too, so we will be up against it.

“They have a few forwards who are very good from placed balls, so keeping our free count down is going to be important, and being a bit more disciplined probably than we have been in the last two games.

“Against Carlow, we held them out well. They didn’t score a lot from play, but we have targeted to bring into the next game to cut out scoreable frees we are conceding.”

Fermanagh knows what it takes to reach an All-Ireland Final, having been here last year, and Murphy expects nothing less than a competitive affair.

And she hopes if she does not make a return to fitness in time for Sunday’s game, she will be able to provide some sort of help to the team on the day.

“Please God, even if I’m not on the pitch, I will be able to give the girls a bit of direction, some words before the game and at half-time.

“And obviously, if I’m not playing, I still have full faith we can do the job as a team and get into that final,” she added.