Fermanagh Hurlers produced a outstanding performance to deservedly win the Allianz Hurling League Division 3B and also gain promotion to Division 3A next year, with a 2-15 to 2-5 win over Warwickshire in the final played in near perfect conditions in Parnell Park, Dublin.
Fermanagh started brightly in the opening minutes scoring points from Seán Corrigan and Ryan Bogue (free) before Warwickshire got on the scoreboard with a long-range effort from corner back Chris Brough. Fermanagh’s quick and direct movement of the ball was starting to caused Warwickshire problems, John Duffy plucked a great catch in the middle of the field and a quick ball into the forwards found Shea Curran to fire over, but Warwickshire responded immediately with a point from Kieran Courtney. Fermanagh’s response was also immediate with Eoin Morrissey getting on the score sheet, leaving it Fermanagh 0-4, Warwickshire 0-2 with just 7 minutes played.
Fermanagh pulled further in front in the 11th minute after great defence work and a quick ball up the field found Seán Corrigan who struck the back of the net. Minutes later Fermanagh should have had their second goal but Andrew Breslin’s shot went just right of the post. Michael Ivors pulled two points back for Warwickshire, one from a free but Ryan Bogue was equal to the tans and converted a free before hitting a superb sideline ball straight over the bar. Mick Bermingham hit over Warwichshire’s fifth point before Bogue (free) and Breslin extended Fermanagh’s lead at the break, 1-8 to 0-5.
After the restart Fermanagh took control of the game and added six points without reply, the scores coming from Duffy, Curran, Declan McGarry, Corrigan (two) and Paul McGoldrick, leaving Fermanagh well in command at 1-14 to 0-5 with 20 minuts left to play. Courtney give Warwickshire a small chance at a comeback when he hit a well taken goal in the 55th minute, but a few minutes later they were reduced to 14 men when the red card was shown to Mick Bermingham, his frustrations took the better of him hand he struck out. Fermanagh further extended their lead when McGoldrick pointed a free before Corrigan got his second goal when he skipped passed the Warwickshire defence in the 58th minute leaving Fermanagh 13 points clear.
In the closing 10 minutes Fermanagh’s Cathal McGarry and Warwickshire’s Dáire Maskey were shown straight reds by Carlow referee Paud O’Dwyer after both players struck out at each other. After a fantastic defensive effort over 68 minutes, the final score of the game came from a mix-up in the Fermanagh defence with a Fermanagh player flicking the ball into his own net, but it was not going to take the shine of a fantastic performance by the Erne boys, winning on a final score of Fermanagh 2-15, Warwickshire 2-5. Captain Karl Kehoe collected the Division 3B trophy on behalf of the Fermanagh team as the proud management team of Seamus McCusker, Seán Duffy, Kevin McGarry and Anthony Teague looked on.
Fermanagh: D.McPhilips; D.Teague; C.McGarry; E.Mahon; F.McBrien; M.Slevin; K.Kehoe; B.Smyth; R.Bogue (0-4 3F); J.Duffy (0-1); E.Morrissey (0-1); J.P.McGarry; S.Corrigan (2-3); S.Curran (0-2); A.Breslin (0-1); Subs: D.McGarry (0-1); P.McGoldrick (0-2 1F); F.Bannon.
Warwickshire: M.Cremin; R.Wedel; D.Neylon; C.Brough (0-1); C.Behan; P.Healy; K.Boxwell; M.Bermingham (0-1); J.O’Dwyer; D.Sheedy; J.Bergin; K.Courtney (1-1); E.McCabe; C.Maskey; M.Ivors (0-2 1F); Subs: D.Maskey; S.Brough; J.Boxwell.