Fermanagh hurling manager Joe Baldwin will take time to consider his position in the post following his side’s relegation from the Nickey Rackard Cup after defeat to Roscommon on Saturday.

Baldwin has spoken throughout his tenure of the importance of the “grain of sand” and his side have been on the wrong end of that grain in both league and championship.

Fermanagh were very competitive in both but ultimately came out on the wrong end of too many tight games.

The travel from his home in Coleraine to Fermanagh is one of the main issues for Baldwin, who will sit down to meet county officials in the near future.

“I’m going to take a wee bit of time to think about things. The journey is huge, it is a two and half hour trip to training and then two and half hour back, with a few hours here for training, it is nearly a full day on top of you day’s work.

“I can say though that with hand on heart whatever the decision is when I meet the board, I have enjoyed every single minute of it and every single mile has been worth it simply because the players when they needed to during games did whatever they could to try and get the win.

“The spirit in that small camp is unbelievable and everyone to a man was devastated in that room on Saturday. They never stopped and I said to them that they are a credit to their club, their parish and their county,” he said.

Saturday was once again a tight, close contest with Fermanagh refusing to throw the towel in even when things were going against them but in the end they came up two points short to leave the group bitterly disappointed.

“It is just absolute heartbreak, the effort on Saturday was immense,” said Baldwin. “We were sitting in the changing room at half time six points down knowing that Armagh had capitulated against Louth. It would have been so easy to just give up but we didn’t, we went out and scored eight scores in a row.

“We died with our boots on. There is so many things that have gone against us this year but they kept battling and battling, and I’m really proud of the players.”

Baldwin knows that Fermanagh aren’t far away and the loss of personnel at different times in the year didn’t help but, while he said the players were committed, he also questioned whether hurling was right at the very top of their priorities.

“We have not been hammered by anybody. I think it is six games this year that we have lost by a single score so there is nothing in it. It is just very hard to put your finger on it.

“You ask yourself, is the Lory Meagher our level, are we just that small that it is one step too far? But then you look at the results and you have to say, no it’s not, because we are more than capable of not only competing at this level but putting in performance after performance after performance.

“But to succeed and get over the line we need all the resources that we have and we haven’t had that this year. We lost Conor (McShea) to the footballers and also lost Tom Keenan and John Duffy to injury and there were a number of others throughout the year.

“Also, the players have been very committed but hurling has to be right at the top of your priorities at any level. Individual players inside a group format need to just say that we need to work a little bit harder and if they put hurling at the top of their priorities just a little bit more then we might get the results we didn’t get because we certainly got performances,” he added.