Fermanagh Forum

Is it time for Fermanagh clubs to take a step down

(Oldest Posts First)

The performance of Tempo and Teemore in the Ulster senior and intermediate club championships last Sunday were an embarrassment. Club football in Fermanagh must be the worst in Ulster at the moment and there are no signs of it improving. Tempo's game against St Galls was over as a contest after 15 minutes and Teemore conceded five goals when they were soundly beaten by Warrenpoint. What must be worrying is that Teemore won the Fermanagh intermediate championship easily and last year they only lost the senior final by one point. It does say a lot for Fermanagh that such a team can't come close to a team nobody is really tipping to win the Ulster intermediate club championship. So is it now time for the county board in Fermanagh to ask the Ulster council that because clubs in Fermanagh cannot compete at the same level as their counterparts in the rest of the province that next year whoever wins the senior football championship in Fermanagh takes part in the Ulster intermediate championship and the team that wins the Fermanagh intermediate championship plays in the junior championship in Ulster? At least then both Fermanagh clubs can go into Ulster competition knowing they have a chance of being able to win games and not be as good as a bye for any team they are drawn against? It could help bring back some confidence to football in Fermanagh so in a few years time when they are ready they can go back to playing in the Ulster senior championship and be competitive again. Lisbellaws win in the Ulster intermediate hurling championship show that club hurling in Fermanagh is on the up but its going the other way for club football. This is not a windup by the way, it is a serious post.

oil.beef.hooked (Tyrone) - Posts: 34 - 06/11/2012 20:02:01    1293736

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Ulster Club Senior Football Championship 2010 Quarter Final Clontibret O'Neills 0-9 v Naomh Conaill 2-11 Sunday 7th Nov 2010 8pt margin
Ulster Club Senior Football Championship 2010 Quarter Final Burren 1-12 v Coleraine 0-5 10pt margin
Ulster Club Senior Football Championship 2012 First Round Mullahoran 1-7 v Errigal Ciaran 4-15 15 pt margin.
Ulster Club Senior Football Championship 2012 Quarter Final Tempo Maguires 0-9 v Naomh Gall 1-15 9 pt margin (stats from ulster gaa.ie)

Using your pompous logic Senior championship winning teams from Monaghan, Cavan, Derry, Fermanagh shouldn't bother entering if thats the case.
The Ulster club scene is dominated by a couple of clubs, just as the county scene is dominated by a few counties both at provincial and national level.
when a first time county winner hits a an experienced ulster club team there really is only result on the cards. Don't judge Tempo or any of these other teams on an occasional foray in Ulster.
If we all took your line of thinking sure whats the point in bothering, sure we will just leave the antrim/armagh/tyrone clubs to it and the rest of us will play in a subsidary competition and never get any better. Brilliant eh!
If you are the best in your county you deserve to play the best in ulster at that level, and if you achieve that consistently then you will starting getting results in ulster and so the team and club develops and progreses.

curlyfinger (Fermanagh) - Posts: 64 - 06/11/2012 20:55:51    1293786

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And by the way only last year 2011 a Fermanagh Club, Lisnaskea Emmetts won, yes WON the All Ireland Intermediate Title, after winning Ulster at the end of 2010.
Hardly embarassing!
Derrylaughan Kevin Barry's GAC were knocked out that year by 10 pts in the semi, should the tyrone reps have to step down a grade on the back of that?
Doubt it. Thats just what happens when clubs step out of their county if they are not yet ready.

curlyfinger (Fermanagh) - Posts: 64 - 06/11/2012 21:04:50    1293797

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curlyfinger, my "pompous logic" takes into account the strength of club football all round in each county at senior, intermediate and junior levels. Not just a few cherry picked results.

Most counties in Ulster are pretty competitive in at least one championship grade e.g Tyrone and Monaghan in intermediate and Junior, Armagh and Derry in Senior etc. But Fermanagh is just poor at senior and intermediate levels and don't bother entering a team for junior. Other counties their club reps are competitive on at least one championship level, Fermanaghs reps are just poor across the board.

Lets not kid ourselves about the Tempo v St Galls result. It was over after 20 mins. St Galls went back into 1st gear after this, could have beaten Tempo by 29 points but putting the effort into racking up such a winning margin was pointless when bigger challenges lie ahead. No ground needs to be gone over again with Teemore.

By the way, Lisnaskeas wins in the ulster and all ireland intermediate championship strengthen my point. At the time they were if not the best club team in Fermanagh definitely in the top three. How many clubs that win their provincial intermediate championship would also be in a division 1 league final the same season? Imagine Dromore, Omagh or Clonoe representing Tyrone in the ulster intermediate championship? it would not be funny. It was not as if Lisnaskea hammered any team in the ulster or all ireland games either, they were made to work for their wins. Derrylaughan that same year won their quarter final before losing their semi final to a better team. That's championship football. The previous season Cookstown, the Tyrone intermediate champions, won the ulster and All Ireland titles.

As for the "If you are the best in your county you deserve to play the best in ulster at that level" then why did Lisbellaw, the Fermanagh senior hurling champions, not compete in the Ulster senior hurling championship this year, rather than just settle to play in intermediate? Well the likes of Loughgiel would give Lisbellaw a right trimming in a similar fashion to St Galls footballers were handing to Tempo. Why not scrap all underage B championships in Fermanagh and make every team compete for one championship, for example?

Time to face facts. The standard of club football in Fermanagh is a joke. The last time a Fermanagh club won a game in the Ulster senior club championship was Enniskillen Gaels about a decade ago. Over the last few years Fermanaghs reps in this competition have had anything from being close but not enough to being hammered. As an observer of club football in Fermanagh and Tyrone, senior football in Tyrone isn't the highest standard in Ulster but it is far better than that in Fermanagh. In fact I would say that senior club football in Fermanagh is about the same level as intermediate football in Tyrone and three or four other counties in Ulster. Intermediate club football in Fermanagh with odd exceptions like Lisnaskea and Teemore is woeful, many of the teams there would not be in contention for the junior club title in Tyrone.

It is time to face reality. There is no point in Fermanagh having their club sides enter Ulster championships if all they are going to be are glorified practice matches for their opponents. Lisnaskeas all Ireland intermediate win shows the level club football in the county stands against its peers and other than for the Lisnaskea club itself that is not in fact a good thing for Fermanagh. Dropping down to compete only in the Ulster intermediate and junior club championships, like Kilkenny do in Leinster, for a couple of seasons at least would do no harm at all and help build confidence for clubs in Fermanagh in future years.

oil.beef.hooked (Tyrone) - Posts: 34 - 07/11/2012 18:43:11    1294282

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Look at the winner table for the Ulster Club Championship. Throughout it's history is has been won by the same club usually on Multiple occassions. Clan a gael 3 in a row, Burren 3 in a row and 2 in row , Scotstown 3 in a row and lets not for get about Crosmaglen. Then when teams don't win multiple times its is dominated by teams from a county. One year Bellagy, then Ballinderry etc.
Enniskillen Gaels competed well in the late 90's early 00's. Throughout the history of the Ulster club the competitive nature of the competition has changed in cycles. Also reme,ber that St Gall's were All Ireland champions only two years ago. This Tempo team was very young so there defeat is not a huge shock, but if they stick at it, then the club will only move forward and be more competitive next year. One thig is for certain. Fermanagh will have a representation in the competition next year.

ManFromManach (Fermanagh) - Posts: 95 - 08/11/2012 15:00:46    1294762

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