Fermanagh 2-09 Antrim 3-10

Missing a host of the All Ireland winning team of last year Fermanagh fell to a four-point loss to Antrim at home in their opening league fixture. The Erne girls led by a point with 13 minutes remaining but the Saffrons hit 1-3 to just a solitary Fermanagh point in the final stages to secure the win.
For Fermanagh boss Emmett Curry there was a healthy dose of pragmatism to his post-match reflections and also a fair degree of positives to be taken;
“We are missing ten of last year’s team at the minute. Hopefully, we will be getting a few back in the coming weeks but that makes it a bit more difficult. Having said that I felt the girls really put in a good effort and we really should have won it but missed a lot of chances in the second half. But all in all, it wasn’t a bad performance considering everything and I thought there was a lot of hard work.”
The game started in perfect fashion for Fermanagh when they found the net inside the first five minutes with Roisin Reilly on target. Antrim though were to hit back and they scored 1-3 without reply in a blistering spell. Emer Gallagher was the Saffron goal scorer with Orlaith Prenter also causing real problems for the Fermanagh rear guard.
In a game that saw its momentum swing from one way to another Fermanagh again took the initiative with Eimear Smyth cracking home a goal to go with points from Joanne Doonan and Blaithin Bogue.
Indeed Smyth and Dooonan were to add further points before the break as the Erne girls hit 1-4 without reply to give themselves a three-point lead at half-time. That lead was wiped out immediately upon the resumption as Antrim plundered their second major of the day to tie up proceedings.
The sides then traded six points with the hard-working Shauna Hamilton, Bogue and Reilly all on target as parity remained between the sides at 2-08 apiece. But there worrying signs that this game might just swing the way of the visitors as Fermanagh were proving wasteful in front of goal missing a number of chances that they would normally convert.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Antrim were showing a more ruthless streak in front of goal and while Fermanagh defended well, with Courtney Murphy at fullback particularly resilient.
Antrim though were able to break down the home defence and once they secured their third goal of the game they took a firm grip of the game.
The Fermanagh manager was not too disappointed however after the game;
“We will be getting more girls back now over the coming weeks and while some won’t be back we are pleased with the way the team played especially in the first half where they came from seven points down. In the second half we would be a bit disappointed because of some of the scores we left behind.”
Fermanagh now take on Derry this Sunday with a venue to be confirmed in Derry.