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Fermanagh edge thriller in Mullingar

July 1st, 2013

Westmeath 1-15

Fermanagh 3-10

 

Fermanagh secured their place in Round Two of the All Ireland Qualifiers with a hard fought but deserving one point win over Westmeath in Mullingar today.

The tie looked set for extra time after Westmeath levelled things through Callum McCormack in the 70th minute but up popped corner back Johnny Woods to calmly slot over the bar to send Fermanagh through.

Peter Canavan’s side did make life hard for themselves, registering over 20 wides in the contest but they also banged in three goals which in the end proved decisive as they take their place in the hat for Monday mornings draw.

Westmeath knocked over the first score of the game through the dangerous Denis Glennon but Fermanagh responded to this with Sean Quigley to the fore.

Canavan’s side needed to make a brighter start to the game than they did against Cavan and Quigley settled them down with a well struck free with the outside of the boot.

The Roslea forward then quickly followed up with two points from play as Fermanagh, who had the advantage of the breeze, claimed an early 0-03 to 0-01 lead.

Midfielder John Heslin hit back for the home side as he rattled over a free but Fermanagh were then to swoop for their first goal of the game in the 13th minute.

Conor Quigley’s hopeful punt forward deceived Gary Connaughton in the Westmeath goal and nestled in the back of the net to put Fermanagh four ahead.

Westmeath were to account for three of the next four points as Glennon, Heslin and Denis Corroon banged over points while Quigley converted a free for Fermanagh who were then to register a second goal.

If there was a touch of fortune about the first, the same could not be said about the second as a surging move through the middle saw Shane McCabe pick out Damian Kelly and he drove forward before planting a shot low to the corner to make it 2-04 to 0-05 after 25 minutes.

Fermanagh were though guilty of wasteful shooting, 12 wides in all in the first half, and Corroon lobbed over a point from play and Heslin slotted over a free to bring the home side back to within three points.

However, the last score of the half went Fermanagh’s way as Tomas Corrigan fired over to leave it 0-07 to 2-05 at the interval.

Fermanagh had a chance to net a third goal early in the second half but Tommy McElroy’s effort was narrowly wide of the post after good work from McCabe.

Ger Egan and McCormack powered over points for the home side, sandwiching one from Kelly, but the game looked to have swung the way of Westmeath when Heslin fired a penalty to the back of the net after goalkeeper Chris Snow took down Glennon.

And it seemed as if Westmeath were in control when Egan edged the ahead but Fermanagh showed great character and Ryan Jones thundered a superb effort to the top corner as Canavan’s side regained the initiative, 1-10 to 3-06.

When Quigley and Corrigan slotted over further scores Fermanagh seemed to be in the driving seat but Westmeath clawed their way with Heslin on target from frees.

With four minutes left Fermanagh held a two point lead, 1-13 to 3-09 but two points from McCormack levelled things up as Fermanagh looked as if they would rue missed chances.

However, there was to be a final twist as Woods slipped forward and he confidently stroked the ball over to ensure Fermanagh the win.

 

Scorers:

Westmeath J. Heslin (1-05, 1-00 pen, 4f), C. McCormack (0-03), D. Corroon (0-03), G. Egan (0-02), D. Glennon (0-02)

 

Fermanagh S. Quigley (0-06, 4f), D. Kelly (1-01), C. Quigley (1-00), R. Jones (1-00), T. Corrigan (0-02), J. Woods (0-01)

 

Westmeath

G. Connaughton; M. McCallon, K. Gavin, K. Maguire; J. Gaffey, P. Sharry, J. Dolan; D. Duffy, J. Heslin; K. Martin, C. McCormack, D. Corroon; G. Egan, L. Smith, D. Glennon.

Subs – D. Dolan for Smith, C. Curley for Duffy

 

Fermanagh

C. Snow; J. Woods, B. Cox, D. Kelly; D. McCusker, R. McCluskey, M. O’Brien; E. Donnelly; M. McGrath; C. Quigley, S. McCabe, R. Jones; T. Corrigan, S. Quigley, T. McElroy.

Subs – R. Corrigan for C. Quigley, D. Kille for R. Corrigan, B. Owens for McGrath, P. Ward for T. Corrigan

 

This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 29 Jun 13

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