The Division 2 fixture of Clare vs Fermanagh has been thrown into doubt after an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Ulster county. Last Wednesday, Fermanagh GAA announced the suspension of all GAA activity within the county at both club and county level. As a result, Stephen McMenamin’s side could have little or no preparation before the Championship begins.
Several members of Fermanagh’s team tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the squad is stretched ahead of the return to inter-county action. McMenamin has called for the game against Clare to be postponed due to the lack of preparation his team will have.
“We’re in no shape to play… even long-term if you look at the Ulster Championship, we do want to play it but you’re looking at the level of preparation.”
The former Tyrone defender added that his side should be afforded the chance to enter their League fixtures on a level-playing field. More importantly, with relegation a serious threat for Fermanagh they need to be playing at full capacity.
“It’s not a fair playing field. You kind of ask yourself should there be relegation in the league, if we’re not afforded the same chances as Clare?”
Fermanagh GAA have announced that all training and all games within the county have been suspended until further notice, at both club and county level, as a result of a spike in Covid-19 cases within the county.
Read more at https://t.co/btLMGRiFqW
— Fermanagh GAA (@FermanaghGAA) October 7, 2020
Division 2 Dogfight
Currently, Fermanagh sit bottom of Division 2. Therefore, they likely need at least a win and a draw in their remaining two fixtures to have any chance of survival. Their only win to date was a one-point victory against Roscommon.
In a similar way, Clare are flirting with relegation and need a strong finish to the League. As it stands, they are safe but only thanks to their points difference. A win over Fermanagh would allow them some breathing room ahead of their round 7 game with Armagh. Wins over Kildare and Cavan earlier in the year could stand to them in the end.
Clare open their Championship campaign away to Tipperary in the Munster quarter-final. This game is just a week following the League’s conclusion. Hence, the Banner men have no time to ease themselves in.
Meanwhile, Fermanagh are scheduled to face Down in the Ulster quarter-final on November 8th. The fixture is subject to change though in light of the situation among McMenamin’s team. If their League games are postponed they will have little match practice before then. However, if they play their remaining games with a weakened squad to fulfill the fixtures, the manager may not have an honest look at his squad prior to the Championship.
Allianz National League: Clare vs Fermanagh, Sunday October 18th, 1pm (Cusack Park).
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 7, 2020