Fermanagh minor manager Maurice McLaughlin says that he expects the Ulster Minor Championship to still be completed after their semi-final against Monaghan was postponed late last week.

With the Republic of Ireland moving into Level Five restrictions, the minor football championship was not permitted to go ahead although training can continue for the squad who booked their place in the semi-final with victory over Down recently.

“I see people on about the competition and everything else but I think this competition has to be finished. It was a case that it started and for the integrity of it and for these lads it definitely has to be finished. There is a semi-final there to be played.

“I don’t see it being an option. We would hope that, while things are pretty bad at the moment, things were pretty bad before and they managed to get numbers down and we have the added hope now of the vaccine starting to come in so we can but hope that this present situation may not be as long as the previous ones,” said McLaughlin who admitted that the decision was not a wholly unexpected one.

“It’s disappointing but it is something that we have dealt with before and the way things were going and the way numbers were rising it was not totally unexpected,” he commented.

And he is very aware of the difficulties caused worldwide by the pandemic.

“I have consistently said that no matter about our disappointment and our own personal feelings we all have to bow to what is going on not just nationwide but worldwide. We are in the middle of an international pandemic that has cost a lot of lives and suffering over the last 12 months so we have to keep that in mind as well.”

This is not the first time that rug has been pulled from under the competition this year with it having been put back twice before the Down game was eventually played and McLaughlin says that the squad will continue to keep the head down and work towards the meeting with Monaghan.

“All we can do is use the time wisely and prepare as well as we can within the restrictions that are there to keep things going. We showed earlier on in the year through the first two lockdowns that we have been able to do that and hopefully we will still be able to do that.

“These boys have had to face disappointments this year but they have stuck at it and they keep coming back again. There is a great resilience about this group of players.

“These lads are willing to face up to whatever situation that is outside their control and deal with it and they will bounce back,” he added.