Fermanagh face Derry for provincial junior honours

The Ernesiders come into the game as the form team

Fermanagh footballer Blaithin Bogue
Blaithin Bogue is a key player for Fermanagh (Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

TG4 Ulster Ladies’ JFC final

Derry v Fermanagh (Saturday, Augher, 2pm)

IT has been quite a while since either of these teams has won this competition. Derry are hoping to win their first title since 2017, while Fermanagh’s last success was a year earlier, although they did win the All-Ireland junior title in 2017, defeating Derry in the final after a replay. The Erne county won the All-Ireland again in 2020.

The counties are at different stages on the progression ladder and the winner of this will enjoy a huge confidence boost going into the All-Ireland series.

They will have looked on as Antrim and Down enjoyed junior Ulster and All-Ireland success the past two years. Fermanagh are further ahead in terms of development than Derry and will be keen to follow in the footsteps of their fellow provincial sides.

They are also the form team coming into this final, having been impressive and unbeaten in the group stage of their Division Four campaign before losing to Carlow in the semi-final.

Eimear Smyth and Blaithin Bogue will lead the Fermanagh attack but their threat also comes from the likes of Lisa and Danielle McGuire. Across the team there is a lot of experience such as Brenda Bannon and Joanne Doonan around the middle, captain Shannan McQuade, Courtney Murphy, Molly McGloin in defence and goalkeeper Roisin Gleeson.

On paper, Derry are more than good enough to win. They boost vast amounts of experience led by Ulster intermediate club champions Steelstown – Aoife McGough, Megan Devine, Ciara McGurk, Katy Holly, Emma Doherty – all of whom were there when Derry won Ulster in 2017, as was Ballymaguigan’s Erin Doherty.