Fermanagh hold fast despite flurry of red cards

Sligo unable to overcome the Ernesiders who were reduced to 12 men in the second half

Fermanagh’s John Paul McGarry lifts The Lory Meagher Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fermanagh’s John Paul McGarry lifts The Lory Meagher Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Fermanagh 3-16 Sligo 1-17

Declan McGarry led the line superbly with 2-3 as Fermanagh claimed the Lory Meagher Cup title amid emotional Croke Park scenes. The Ernesiders fell seven points down after a poor start and remarkably finished with just 12 men after three second-half dismissals.

But they still found the will to turn their perilous situation around and even finished strongest with several late points to emboss the score line.

The show of character was the perfect tribute to former colleague Shane Mulholland who passed away tragically in April. Captain John Paul McGarry paid a rich tribute to Mulholland as he raised the trophy and dedicated the win to him.

It looked like it may be Sligo’s day early on, however, as they roared into a 20th minute 0-9 to 0-2 lead and were in total control. Fermanagh struggled to contain Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch and Keith Raymond who picked off eight of those nine points between them.

But two Declan McGarry goals and one from Corrigan put Fermanagh into a 3-5 to 0-12 half-time lead that few could have envisioned. The Ulster men kicked on from there with six points in a row after the restart as Sligo went 20 minutes without scoring.

Sligo finally found their range mid way through the second-half. Raymond shot back to back frees before a 58th minute Ciaran Brennan goal. It reduced the deficit to one and Fermanagh could have caved in as they were already down to 14 men after Duffy’s second booking.

Kehoe followed him to the line in the 55th minute and Teague got his marching orders in injury-time. But it didn’t appear to affect Fermanagh as they actually finished strongest and made up for final defeats in 2012 and 2014.

Fermanagh: M Curry; D Teague, M Teague, E Mahon; K Kehoe, M Slevin, B Duffy; J Duffy (0-3, 1f), D Teague; JP McGarry (0-1), D McGarry (2-3, 0-1f, 0-1 65), A Breslin; S Corrigan (1-3), B MacLaughlin (0-5), C Corrigan (0-1). Subs: F Bannon for Mahon (25), D Cullen for Daniel Teague (71).

Sligo: S Hayes; T Brennan, M Davey, R Redmond; E McGowan, J Kenny, A Morrison; N Hyland (0-1), G O’Kelly-Lynch (0-6, 3f); B McMahon, D Fahy, K Raymond (0-8, 6f); G Cadden (0-1), C Brennan (1-0), G Waldron (0-1). Subs: P Leonard for Fahy (31), F Keown for Redmond (39), N Cadden for G Cadden (57).

Referee: C Cunning (Antrim).

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