Sligo 0-8 Fermanagh 0-13
Rory Gallagher’s Fermanagh made it three wins from three games in the league after a hard-fought defeat of Sligo at a wet Markievicz Park.
On a heavy pitch, Fermanagh wing backs Barry Mulrone and Declan McCusker excelled throughout and hit five points between them as the Erne men joined Armagh at the top of the table.
But the Ulster side had to recover from a poor start that saw Sligo hit the opening three points without reply in the first three minutes.
Neil Ewing, Stephen Coen and Pat Hughes all pointed, only for the visitors to outscore their hosts by eight points to one for the remainder of the opening period.
Fermanagh’s first score of the game came from a McCusker goal effort that was brilliantly deflected over the bar by Sligo defender Eddie McGuinness on his own line.
Points from Seamus Quigley, Mulrone, Conall Jones and Paul McCusker took Fermanagh clear, as Sligo struggled to break down a Fermanagh system that regularly saw all 15 players defending inside their own half.
The Yeats men did start well in the second half with scores from Coen and the returning Adrian McIntyre. Coen's score came after Fermanagh 'keeper Patrick Cadden deflected his effort on goal over the bar.
But the home side failed to capitalise on some other scoring opportunities, twice dropping efforts short, when a point could have reduced the gap back to two.
Instead further scores from Mulrone, Declan McCusker and Quigley kept Fermanagh in the driving seat. Eamon Maguire and Sean Quigley came off the bench to add further points for the visitors, and Sligo finished the game with 13 men as half-time substitute Cian Breheny was harshly shown two yellow cards followed by a red, and Ewing was black-carded in injury-time with Sligo having already used six subs.
Sligo: A Devaney; R Donovan, L Nicholson, E McGuinness; E McHugh, A McIntyre (0-1), N Ewing (0-1); P O'Connor, D Cummins; F Cawley, P Hughes (0-1), S Carrabine; S Coen (0-2, 1f), N Murphy (0-1), A Marren (0-1). Subs: C Harrison for Ewing (blood sub, 18 mins), C Breheny for Cawley (h-t), K McDonnell for Carrabine (45), C Harrison for McHugh (51), L Gaughan (0-1, 1f) for Hughes (52), Kyle Cawley for Coen (53), J Clarke for McIntyre (66).
Fermanagh: P Cadden; M Jones, C Cullen, C McManus; B Mulrone (0-2), L Cullen, D McCusker (0-3); E Donnelly, R Jones; P McCusker (0-1), C Corrigan, A Breen; D Teague, C Jones (0-2), Seamus Quigley (0-3, 2f). Subs: R Corrigan for P McCusker (45 mins), E Maguire (0-1) for Teague (50), R Lyons for C Corrigan (59), K Connor for McManus (66), Sean Quigley (0-1) for Seamus Quigley (68), E Courtney for Donnelly (70+4).
Referee: J Hickey (Carlow)