Victory for Fermanagh sets up key clash with Man Utd

Co. Fermanagh 1 

Dundalk 0

By Rod Nawn


Fionn Stroud’s clever 12th minute strike gave Fermanagh’s Super Cup Premier Section side a priceless first group win on the eve of a sell-out clash with Manchester United today (Wednesday), at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

The early stages promised a robust encounter in Antrim but Fermanagh, clearly aware of the Dundalk team’s physical reputation, did not take a backward step.

Indeed Fermanagh took a deserved lead in the 12th minute, Fionn Stroud cutting in past a statuesque defender to fire home the opener.

Adam Armstrong, Kelan Kernaghan and skipper Oisin Keenan proved determined in defence, while Stroud and Odhran McGovern always looked for the chance to counter.

Ethan Kavanagh saw his powerful header go over the Dundalk crossbar as tempers became frayed and referee Ryan McGonigle issued a flurry of yellow cards to both sides.

The challenges were hard and not always fair, and the referee had to speak to both captains to restore some sort of order.

Armstrong had left the field at the interval clutching a bag of ice to his neck, ironically the result of an awkward fall and not an over-zealous coming together.


He returned as Head Coach Keith Douglas resisted an early change to his side, but as Dundalk introduced two more creative players who instantly caused a few alarms he did draw on his bench to good effect.

I didn’t feel we were playing as well in the second period as in the first half and we ‘tweaked’ a few things,” he said.

Goalkeeper Alex McClelland distinguished himself in the 61st minute with a brave dive at the feet of an onrushing forward, and two minutes later produced a brilliant, match winning touch over the bar as Dundalk pressed for an equaliser.

In the 66th minute Armstrong cleared off the Fermanagh line after a scramble in the ‘box’, but in the main the calming presence of Ewan Mackie and Keenan just about kept their side – in unfamiliar blue – just about in control.

In a bruising finish to an entertaining if rugged encounter Dundalk created one last chance to level, Niall O’Connor pulling his shot wide of the right post when left in oceans of space in the 71st minute.

Relief is the initial instinct,” said Douglas at the final whistle. “We have three points on the board and the big incentive to perform, and win, against Manchester United on Wednesday afternoon in Coleraine”.

A good day, but things to work on still.”

CO. FERMANAGH: Alex McClelland; Oisin Keenan (capt), Ewan Mackie, Adam Armstrong, Kelan Kernaghan, Odhran McGovern (Lennox, 69), Ethan Kavanagh (Porter, 52), Jamie Edwards, Fionn Stroud (St Ledger, 69), Adam Cathcart (O’Connor, 57), Tadhg Britton.

Substitutes: Ross Thompson, Jonny Vennard, Bruce Lennox, Corey Porter, Callum St Ledger, Harry Funston, Dan O’Connor



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