Ulster SFC Preliminary Round
Fermanagh exited the Ulster Championship after a spirited first half display was undone by a power-packed closing surge from Monaghan.
The visitors made a real game of it for the first 40 minutes, but the introduction of Owen Duffy who laced over three quick fire points gave Malachy O’Rourke’s men the impetus they needed to push on for victory. In the end Monaghan finished with 13 different scorers as Fermanagh were left trailing in their wake.
The first half was a well balanced affair and Fermanagh got the early initiative with a Tomás Corrigan free. That was quickly answered by a spectacular point on the turn from Kieran Hughes.
Shortly after Colin Walshe swept over well off the left boot from the wing after Karl O’Connell won the kick out.
Parity was restored six minutes in by a sublime long range free by Sean Quigley. Then Fermanagh got a further boost when Kieran Hughes was black carded after fouling Ryan Lyons.
Pete McGrath’s men then took the lead after Aidan Breen was fouled, and Corrigan dinked over the free.
It was all square again 12 minutes in when another well struck left foot effort from Colin Walshe sailed over after a Fermanagh attack was snuffed out up the other end.
Then disaster struck the visitor Thomas Treacy’s kick out was too easily read by a Monaghan attacker who robbed it and fed Conor McManus who stroked to the net one on one.
Monaghan compounded that blow when Shane Carey hoisted over to make it 1-4 to 0-3.
Fermanagh responded well though. Ryan McAnespie was lucky to get off without a card after clothes-lining Tomás Corrigan, but Corrigan dusted himself down to tap over the free.
Then with 21 minutes on the clock Fermanagh levelled in spectacular fashion. Paul McCusker made a brilliant breaking run before flicking over to the unmarked Ryan Lyons who slipped home home left footed.
Then the Erne men took the lead, Ryan McCluskey slipping off to Lee Cullen who took the ball on before blasting over the lead score.
With five minutes to the break a lovely long range point from Karl O’Connell after another Fermanagh attack broke down tied things up again.
It was Monaghan who kicked on as the break loomed, starting with a brilliant individual score from Conor McCarthy to retake the lead. Tomás Corrigan took his fortune in his hands to loft over a great equalising score.
However a Jack McCarron free and a superb long range free by McManus on the stroke of time sent the Farney men leading 1-8 to 1-6.
Fermanagh looked fairly well in the contention in the early stages of the first half, a good long range score by Neil McAdam answered by a Tomás Corrigan free.
Thomas Treacy then made a first class save from Conor McCarthy before Sean Quigley belted over a great score to leave two between them
However that point came in the 44th minute and Fermanagh were unable to add to that tally for another 23 minutes. By then the game was up, with Monaghan sending over an unanswered 0-10.
First of sub Owen Duffy and Conor McManus fired over two rapid answering scores to Quigley’s cracker. Then Jack McCarron tagged on a wonderful score from the left flank to make it three on the bounce for the hosts.
Owen Duffy clipped over from an acute angle before Conor McManus blasted over from range with Duffy adding another to make it 1-15 to 1-8.
Sean Quigley did have a half chance of goal at that stage, but he was well blocked by McAnespie.
Points from Dermot Malone, Fintan Kelly and Conor McCarthy put ten between the side before Gavin Doogan became Monaghan’s 12th scorer.
Eddie Courtney ended Fermanagh’s scoring drought four minutes from time and Aidan Breen slipped over directly after to take the Erne men into double scores for points.
One of the biggest cheers of the day came when Dessie Mone popped over after being well blocked by Breen. The Tempo man hit the last score of the day, but this was only ever going to be Monaghan’s day from a fair distance out.
Rory Beggan; Fintan Kelly (0-1), Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe (0-2), Vinny Corey, Neil McAdam (0-1); Kieran Hughes (0-1), Karl O’Connell (0-1); Gavin Doogan (0-1), Shane Carey (0-1), Dessie Ward; Conor McCarthy (0-2), Jack McCarron (0-2, 1f), Conor McManus (1-3, 1f).
Subs: Ryan McAnespie for K Hughes (BC) 7m; Owen Duffy (0-3) for S Carey 41m; Dermot Malone (0-1) for D Ward 49m; Dessie Mone (0-1) for F Kelly 62m; Micheal Bannigan for C Mc Carthy 67m.
Black card: K Hughes 7m
Thomas Treacy; Mickey Jones, Che Cullen, Cian McManus; Aidan Breen (0-2), Ryan McCluskey, Conor P Murphy; Eoin Donnelly, Lee Cullen (0-1); Barry Mulrone, Ryan Lyons (1-0), Paul McCusker; Kane Connor, Sean Quigley (0-2, 1f), Tomás Corrigan (0-5, 4f).
Subs: Ryan Jones for K Connor 49m; Eddie Courtney (0-1) for S Quigley 53m; Cathal Beacom for R Lyons 58m; Darryl Keenan for P McCusker 58m.
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)