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Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher pictured during the Ulster Final at Clones.
Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher pictured during the Ulster Final at Clones.

Gallagher disappointed following Ulster Final defeat

By Cian O'Connell

Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher acknowledged that Donegal's Ryan McHugh made two crucial interventions during the opening half of Sunday's Ulster Final in Clones.

Pacy Kilcar star McHugh crafted a goal for Eoghan Ban Gallagher before rattling the Fermanagh net himself with a blistering finish in sweltering conditions.

“It was a tough day at the office," Fermanagh boss Gallagher reflected. "We started reasonably well and turned them over a few times and it was nip and tuck but the to big moments were from Ryan McHugh’s involvement. 

"It was his ball in that set up the first goal and then he rattled in the second goal. We knew it would be very, very difficult after that. "Against the likes of Donegal and Monaghan, teams who are playing at a higher level than us, you have to give yourself a really good chance of winning the game."

Despite the loss it has been a satisfactory campaign so far for Fermanagh, who earned promotion into Division Two of the Allianz League before beating Armagh and Monaghan in the Championship.

"Anybody in Fermanagh would have taken that," Gallagher stated. "When we qualified for the semi-final we always felt we had a great chance of beating Monaghan. We had been playing really, really well and felt we could start really, really well.

"The hope was to be nip and tuck at half-time or maybe slightly ahead. That wasn't the case and it was going to be difficult for us.

"We tried to really, really go at it and we changed our tactics in the kickouts. We had some success, but in order to do that we needed a score at the start of the second half. We put in a few high balls and nothing came."

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