Fermanagh moved firmly into contention for an All Ireland Junior Championship semi-final spot on Sunday as they responded well to the loss to Carlow seven days earlier with a much improved display against London at Brewster Park.

Erne boss James Daly was a lot happier with his side’s performance against London as they bounced back with an emphatic eight point victory to put them in a strong possession in the group ahead of their concluding game against Derry on Sunday week.

“We had a point to prove and we done it,” said Daly. “We knew London were going to come and we know the quality they have; while we didn’t know that much about them we did know they have a lot of ex-county players in their squad so it was important that we upped our game, and we did. We were sharper and stronger than we were against Carlow, everything about our game was tenfold on what happened last week against Carlow.”

London had made the livelier opening to the game as they claimed an early three point advantage but Fermanagh were level by the break before pushing on in the second half. And Daly believes that his side’s fitness was a key factor in the outcome.

“To be honest, I felt that our fitness levels were telling. We felt that in the last five or six minutes of the first half that they were starting to look a bit tired. We had decided to go against the wind in the first half, figuring that we were fit and in the second half we would have the legs and that worked out for us.

“They got two or three points ahead of us but we didn’t panic, we kept chipping away at scores and I was very happy with how it went,” he added.

Once again his star forwards, Eimear Smyth and Blaithin Bogue were to the fore as they contributed 1-11 of Fermanagh’s 2-15 but Daly was pleased with the overall team performance and especially from some of his ‘unsung heroes’.

“I couldn’t fault any of the players, we were very good across the board,” he said.

“Everybody knows the quality that Blaithin and Eimear have and they showed that again but we also have our unsung heroes. You have the likes of Sarah McCarville, Sarah Britton, you have Ash O’Brien who went on their best player and had a super game and Shannon McQuade who was unreal. It was just a good team performance.”

Daly also had special praise for Nuala Curran who stepped in between the posts in the absence of regular goalkeeper Roisin Gleeson.

“Nuala’s an outfield player but she stepped into goals because Roisin wasn’t here and that was always on the cards before Roisin came back on the panel. Nuala came in and did a phenomenal job for us,” he added.

Carlow currently top the group with two wins out of two while Fermanagh moved second with that win over London with Derry still waiting on their first points. Daly feels that London could well give Carlow problems when they meet in the last round of games but his only focus is on getting a win for Fermanagh against the Oak Leaf side.

“London are a good team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put it up to Carlow and that would bring the whole thing into the melting pot. But, all we can worry about is doing our own job. We want to keep the momentum going that we got from this game and hopefully we will give ourselves a chance of getting to an All Ireland semi-final.”