Fermanagh off to winning start under Canavan
PETER CANAVAN has saluted the bond that has quickly developed in the Fermanagh squad after watching his new charges launch his managerial reign with a convincing McKenna Cup win over Antrim.
Fermanagh are aiming to bounce back from an infamous season marred by player defections and disastrous results, and 2012 couldn't have got off to a better start as a Seamus Quigley-inspired home side overcame Antrim by 2-11 to 1-6 in front of a bumper Brewster Park crowd.
And afterwards, Tyrone legend Canavan declared: "It's not something I am used to, but you get to know the players over a short period of time and a relationship soon develops. There's a bond developing among the squad of players and I'm pleased with that.
"They are realistic enough to know they are in Division Four for a reason, and they are going to fight to dig themselves out of it .
"I must say, I was delighted with the reception the players got today and I think we sent the supporters home happy."
Quigley proved the star turn, his 1-8 tally crowned by a volleyed goal that killed off any lingering Antrim hopes with five minutes remaining.
Elsewhere on the McKenna Cup circuit, Down also had eight points to spare over arch-rivals Armagh whereas Ulster champions Donegal suffered a shock two-point defeat to University of Ulster, Jordanstown.
Derry pipped Cavan by a point, 0-13 to 0-12, will substitue Niall Holly kicking the winning three minutes into added time.
Monaghan and Tyrone both finished strongly to see off student opposition -- St Mary's and Queen's respectively.
The big talking point in the FBD League was Conor Mortimer's Mayo comeback.
The mercurial attacker, who missed 2011 following cruciate surgery, came off the bench after 41 minutes with Mayo being held by Leitrim and proved a big factor in their eventual 0-10 to 0-6 success at Ballyhaunis.
Mortimer quickly set up one point and then scored another two, including a wonder score from the left wing.
It proved a less auspicious day for new Galway boss Alan Mulholland, who saw his side succumb to a John Maughan-managed NUIG by 1-8 to 0-9, courtesy of a 43rd minute goal by sub Ian Galvin.
Meath forward Shane O'Rourke will undergo hip surgery this Thursday and is not expected back until the end of March at the earliest.