GAA Football

Fermanagh and goalkeeper Thomas Treacy looking ahead after Cork defeat

Fermanagh goalkeeper Thomas Treacy Picture by Philip Walsh
By Stephen Barry

FERMANAGH goalkeeper Thomas Treacy chomped on an apple and chatted outside the Páirc Uí Rinn clubhouse after Sunday’s full-time whistle concluded a miserable eight-point loss to Cork.

Treacy could be forgiven for taking a break from the downcast dressing room after the game ended on a personal high with two fine saves in the second half, although everything after the interval was coloured by Cork’s substantial cushion, which never looked like receding.

Five times Paul Kerrigan bore down on Treacy’s goal in all. Twice the Cork captain sent his shot whistling just over the bar. Twice Treacy made fine saves to stop him – one low to his left, the other high to his right.

The other time, in the 24th-minute, Kerrigan handed the ball off to Niall Coakley, who fired into the unguarded net.

Compared to the sole goal chance Fermanagh forged late on, when Ken O’Halloran smartly closed down Eoin Donnelly, it left a worrying imbalance between chances created and chances allowed.

“It’s not an easy journey back, especially after the performance we put in out there,” reflected Treacy. “Four-and-a-half hours back up the road and work in the morning…

“We never really got going and left too much work to do for ourselves after the first-half performance, going in six points down. We never got going and we never really gelled. It was disappointing coming down to Cork and not getting the result we wanted.

“Towards the end, we gambled forward a bit and when we got turned over, we left gaps at the back. They did cut us open and had a couple of opportunities, but I suppose I did my job and kept the ball out of the net.”

Now in his fourth season with the squad, Treacy has rotated in and out of the starting line-up throughout the Dr McKenna Cup and League campaigns with his team-mate and rival Chris Snow, who expects this to be his final year with the county.

That duo have combined to concede a miserly three goals in seven games this spring and the Devenish stopper hopes those saves can further his case to keep the job into the summer.

“Yeah, I maybe made a claim for the number one position. Myself and Chris, it’s ding-dust between the two of us in training, so we’re rotating at the minute. On a personal level, I had to make a couple of saves but as a team performance, it wasn’t good enough.

“We just haven’t really clicked yet. We played all right in the first Down game. The next day, against Galway, we played very well in the first half but we’d a second-half collapse. Today, we didn’t really get going at all.

“There’s lots of different aspects to work on in our defending, our attacking and trying to be more clinical around the pitch, so we’ll sit down, assess it and try to rectify it.”

They’ll hope to iron out the problems before they hit the road again, this time for a meeting with Kildare in Newbridge and Treacy knows they need to get more points on the board if they don’t want to get pulled into a relegation scrap.

“Kildare beat Cork last week so they seem to be playing well at home and it’s going to be a tough game, but we’ll try to get ready for it. We’re not out of it yet,” said Treacy (right).

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