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Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 20:38 UK

Fitness key to victory - O'Rourke

Fermanagh manager Malachy O'Rourke says his side's fitness shone through.

Fermanagh manager Malachy O'Rourke believes his team's fitness was vital to the 1-11 to 1-9 win over Derry in the Ulster SFC semi-final in Omagh.

"We started off badly but recovered and our fitness levels shone through to take us to the final," he said.

"Not many people gave us a chance but we've great faith in the players and we were not going to lie down.

"We'll get our heads down now, we'll not shout about ourselves and see how it goes in the decider."


Barry Owens, who was returning for Fermanagh after heart surgery, scored the vital goal on 54 minutes with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

However, O'Rourke acknowledged that the outcome could have been different if Ronan Gallagher had not saved Conleth Gilligan's penalty when Derry were leading 1-3 to 0-1.

"We knew if we conceded the goal it would have been an uphill battle but once it was saved we knew we had the fitness to come through.

"The boys were tremendously fit and our fitness coach Leo McBride hasn't got the praise others have.

"With Barry it is just one of those things you take a gamble on - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and this time it worked."


Preliminary round

First round



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Erne delight
21 Jun 08 |  Photo Galleries

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