Hurling: Fermanagh earn Croker final

David McGovern almost catches the sliotar as Francie McBrien attacks.  DP13
Fermanagh  3-16
Leitrim  1-09

Fermanagh cruised past the challenge of Leitrim in their second group game and in so doing booked their place in the Lory Meagher Cup final at Croke Park  on Saturday June 7.

The home side were simply far too good for the Connacht visitors and were deserving of their high scoring victory. Yet at half time there was only five points in the game with a Leitrim goal and two great saves from their goalkeeper allowing them to stay in the game.

The only downside to Fermanagh’s day was the sending off of Matthew Teague with a straight red card. The wing back received his marching orders midway through the second half.

Inside 12 minutes Fermanagh had raced into a five point lead with brothers Sean and Ciaran Corrigan simple to hot for the Leitrim full back line to handle.

Sean was accurate from both frees and play throughout the seventy minutes while Ciaran showed he possessed a lovely goal touch.

His first green flag of the day, from an astute pass from elder brother Sean, saw Fermanagh into that comfortable five point lead but within a matter of minutes Leitrim were back in the game when corner forward Fergal Earley bundled the ball over the line.

Fermanagh though kept their cool and for the remainder of the half were the better team hitting a series of points with Fracie McBrien popping up with two from midfield. Indeed ti could have been more had it not been for two great saves in the Leitrim goal by Morgan Quinn.

It looked all rosy for the home side at the break but Leitrim enjoyed their best spell upon the resumption and of the first five points they collected three to cut the gap to just four but it was at this point that Fermanagh really opened up hitting 2-03 without reply.

Sean Corrigan fired over the three points, with two coming from play before Declan McGarry gathered a high ball to the net to hammer home his sides second goal. And within minutes it got even bester for the Erne men when Ciaran Corrigan claimed his second goal of the day.

Searing in a long the end line Quinn saved in the Leitrim goal but the rebound was picked up by Corrigan and he made no mistake the second time round.

This scoring spree put Fermanagh 13 points up and over the remainder of the match the sides shared four points a piece as the game wore to its inevitable conclusion.

In the end the win was probably more straight forward that the Erne camp had expected but that should not take away from the display.

All over the pitch there were tremendous performances. Eoin Morrissey was in imperious form at full back claiming all manner of ball that came into his are of the field. Daniel Teague was tigerish and unrelenting at corner back while Mark Slevin was assured at centre back.

Ryan Bogue and McBrien controlled the middle of the field with the latter hitting four points from play over the course of the match.

While up front the full forward line of the Corrigan brothers and Declan McGarry were always menacing and they finished with a combined total of 3-10.

The win, along with that of Longford’s triumph over Warwickshire means that it will be Fermanagh and Longford in the final at Croke Park on June 7.

The teams are due to meet on Saturday in Longford in the final group game but if this match goes ahead it is sure to be something of a dead rubber given what is to come next month in Croker.


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