Fermanagh and Antrim will battle it out for top spot in Tailteann Cup Group Four - and an automatic quarter final place - next Sunday in the Athletic Grounds and Erne boss Kieran Donnelly says this is where his side wanted to be coming into that final group game.

“It was always going to come down to the last game either way so the fact that we are going into the Antrim game with a chance of finishing top of the group is where we wanted to be.

“The two games so far have been useful, we have used a lot of players and we have found out a lot about players in different situations, so it leads up to a good final game,” he said.

Big benefit

There is that huge incentive for both sides to go on and claim top spot as it leads to a place straight into the quarter finals as well as an extra week’s rest and Donnelly acknowledges that it is a big benefit.

“Because a lot of teams have played a lot of football this year with the league coming thick and fast, an extra week will definitely help and that will be every team’s focus going into the final week, to get that leap up into a quarter final.

“We’ll approach it the same as every game, we’ll be going to win and like every team we will be looking to finish top of the group.”

He knows though that they face a stern test against Antrim. Fermanagh defeated the Saffrons in the league with a string of late scores taking them to the victory having trailed by seven points late on in that game.

“Antrim will go in thinking that they owe us one from the last day and they will have full belief that they can beat us. I think both teams know each other extremely well, we are very aware of Antrim’s pace and strengths and we also have pace in certain areas.

“It should be a fast paced game,” he said.


This third group game is one that is at a neutral venue and Donnelly is happy with the Athletic Grounds.

“I thought it would always be Armagh. It is a great surface and always plays as a nice compact ground,” he commented.

On the Leitrim game, there were a number of positives for the Erne manager to take out of the contest.

Fermanagh rattled off some nice scores and the reaction to conceding two quickfire goals at the start of the second half also pleased the Brookeborough man.

“There are still areas that we need to tidy up and we will have to address that this week but there was a lot of pleasing things as well.

“A lot of the football we played was good and to score 1-19 in any game you have to take positives from it. The fact that we improved after a poor start to the second half was a big thing character wise too, there was a lot of players who stepped up and played well. These were all positives for us.”