Antrim claw back Fermanagh to win Ulster minor clash

Cavan’s Maggie Farrelly becomes first woman to referee a men’s football match at championship level

Fermanagh 2-9 Antrim 2-11

Antrim justified their billing as favourites and came from six points down to beat Fermanagh in Sunday’s Ulster MFC first-round tie at Brewster Park.

The Saffrons trailed by 2-3 to 0-3 towards the end of the first half, but a goal by Brendan Corr before the break brought them back into it, and a strong second-half showing saw them run out deserving winners.

History was made with Cavan's Maggie Farrelly becoming the first woman to referee a football championship match at this level.

It was Fermanagh who made the brightest start with two goals from corner-forward Paul Óg O’Reilly in the first 20 minutes.


Antrim responded with a brave fisted goal by full forward Corr to reduce Antrim’s deficit to 2-3 to 1-3 at the break.

Only three points were scored from play in the second half, with the excellent free-taking of Conor Small and Luke Ryder dominating the exchanges.

Ryder hit just one in between a run of five Small frees between the 40th and 49th minute as Antrim justified their favourites tag with a purposeful second half, before Kevin Small’s low shot squirmed underneath the goalkeeper’s body to hit the net to clinch Antrim’s place in the Ulster MFC semi-final against Cavan.

FERMANAGH: J Kelly; J Toye, C Carney, C Cameron; R McCaffrey, C McManus, S McGullion; M Óg McGarrigle, N Clarke; E Curran (0-1), J Flanagan, C Goodwin (0-1); C Jones, L Ryder (0-6, six frees), P Óg O'Reilly (2-0).

Subs: E Cassidy for McCaffrey (31 mins), P Leonard (0-1, free) for C Jones (57 mins), L Jones for Goodwin (57 mins).

ANTRIM: G Murray; C Garland, C King, C Flynn; E Walsh, D Carey, B McCormick; G Walsh, C Murray; B Rice (0-1), C Small (0-8, eight frees), E Fyfe; O Eastwood (0-2), B Corr (1-0), CJ McKenna.

Subs: C Lyttle for McCormick (40 mins), J Maskey for Quinn (40 mins), K Small (1-0) for Rice (47 mins), D McCormick for C Small (55 mins), P Finnegan for McKenna (60 mins).

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).