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'We'll fight another year': Fermanagh fans left disappointed as county's wait for first ever Ulster GAA title goes on

Fermanagh and Donegal fans enjoy a 'dance-off' in Clones ahead of the Ulster final. Picture by John Monaghan
John Monaghan

UNFORTUNATELY for Fermanagh GAA fans, the history being made yesterday involved a unionist politician and not the ending of the 130 year wait for the county's first ever Ulster Senior Football title.

If the choice of songs was anything to go by, the county might still be asleep this morning, with one set of optimistic Fermanagh fans singing a pre-match rendition of "Wake me up when we win Ulster".

In the end, the only Ulster county never to have won a senior football title will have to wait another year, as Donegal comprehensively defeated their neighbours by a twelve point margin, 2-18 to 0-12, to themselves capture their first provincial championship in four years.

Even the presence of actor and Fermanagh native Adrian Dunbar was not enough to spur the Ernemen into action in the second half.

Speaking at half time where he talked optimistically of seeing "a spark of a comeback" as Fermanagh trailed to Donegal 2-7 to 0-5, he said there would "be a lot of grown men crying" if the Ernemen were able to pull off a victory.

Clones was transformed into a sea of green and white as Fermanagh fans descended en masse and if Ulster championships were awarded on the basis of supporter numbers and noise, the Ernemen would have had the title wrapped up by lunchtime.

One Fermanagh fan, Enniskillen man Mark Corrigan, described the pre-match atmosphere as akin to a "concert" as supporters from the neighbouring counties congregated in the town.

Mr Corrigan, attending the game with his nephew Carl Davi, predicted Fermanagh would end their long drought with a two-point victory and added that the reaction across the county "would be unbelievable...we'd never have seen scenes like it".

In the appropriately named Fermanagh Street, supporters from the green and white army struck up tunes and danced in the street with their Donegal counterparts.

Amongst those engaging in the Ulster 'dance-off' was Anne Murray, from Killybegs in Donegal.

Sporting a Donegal shirt, she revealed she had a foot in both camps, with her father from Fermanagh and her mother from Donegal.

Predicting a four point win for Donegal, she said Fermanagh had contributed to an "absolutely superb" atmosphere and added: "They are great neighbours and we would want to see them win an Ulster final but not at our expense."

After the game, Fermanagh supporter Una McMahon said she was "absolutely devastated" at the manner of the team's 12-point defeat.

"Donegal were very, very good, but we thought it would be closer, we thought we could make a game of it.

"It will be hard to pick ourselves up after this for the qualifiers. But we will fight another year."

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