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Unbeaten Fermanagh stay on course for promotion to Division 1 as Clare face relegation battle

Three points separated the sides in Enniskillen today.

Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher.
Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Fermanagh 0-12
Clare 0-9

Eoin Brennan reports from Enniskillen

FERMANAGH PROTECTED THEIR unbeaten start to remain joint-top of Division 2 of the Allianz football league following a gritty victory over Clare in Brewster Park this afternoon.

The Banner County only led once for a three minute spell in the opening half as the hosts were the ones to force the pace for the majority, having perfected an all-out defensive, counter-attacking style.

With the sides level on four occasions in the first half, Sean Quigley nudged Fermanagh into a 0-6 to 0-5 interval advantage thanks to an injury-time ’45, his fourth placed ball of the half.

However, Clare were thankful to only concede a last gasp point as it stemmed from an excellent one-on-one save from goalkeeper Pierce Deloughrey who prevented Ryan Lyons from giving his side a decisive boost by the midway mark.

Fermanagh would manage to keep their noses in front throughout the second period after converting three of the first four points through Quigley, Declan McCusker and Ciaran Corrigan to lead 0-9 to 0-6 by the 46th minute.

A patient Clare responded with Jamie Malone’s second point of the half five minutes later but six wides in the latter period would halt their progress before the aforementioned Malone would be sin-binned in the 60th minute.

The home side took full advantage as Quigley, Aidan Breen and Ryan Lyons tacked on points while Clare would be left frustrated when a goal chance for substitute Keelan Sexton would clear the crossbar at 0-12 to 0-8.

Fellow replacement Sean O’Donoghue did force home goalkeeper Thomas Treacy into a vital injury-time save but up against a populated rearguard, only a late Eoin Cleary free would arrive for the Banner men who are now embroiled in a real relegation dogfight with Munster rivals Cork and Tipperary along with Armagh.

Scorers for Fermanagh: Sean Quigley 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’45); Che Cullen, Kane Connor (0-1f), Declan McClusker, Ciaran Corrigan, Aidan Breen, Ryan Lyons 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy (0-2f), Jamie Malone 0-2 each; Kieran Malone, Conor Finnucane, Gary Brennan (0-1f), Keelan Sexton, Eoin Cleary (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Fermanagh

1. Thomas Treacy (Devenish)

2. Jonny Cassidy (Inis Ceithleann)
3. Lee Cullen (Belnaleck)
4. Kane Connor (Belnaleck)

10. Ryan Lyons (Erne Gaels)
6. James McMahon (Roslea)
11. Declan McCusker (St Joseph’s)

9. Ryan Jones (Derrygonnelly)
24. Che Cullen (Belnaleck)

7. Ciaran Corrigan (Droichead Mhig Uidir)
5. Ultan Kelm (Erne Gaels)
12. Aidan Breen (Tempo)

22. Kevin McDonnell (Irvinestown)
15. Sean Quigley (Roslea)
14. Conall Jones (Derrygonnelly)

Subs

26. Paul McCusker (St Joseph’s) for McDonnell (29)
8. Eoin Donnelly (Coa) for Cassidy (46)
13. Daniel Teague (Droichead Mhig Uidir) for C. Jones (54)
25. Darragh McGurn (Belnaleck) for McCusker (67)
17. Eamon McHugh (Derrygonnelly) for Breen (70)

Clare

1. Pierce Deloughrey (Cratloe)

4. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
3. Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
2. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)

7. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
6. Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
5. Dean Ryan (Na Fianna, Dublin)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

10. Kieran Malone (St Joseph’s Miltown)
11. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
12. Jamie Malone (Corofin)

13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
14. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15. Conor Finnucane (Lissycasey)

Subs

24. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for K. Malone (49)
20. Sean O’Donoghue (Cooraclare) for O’Connor (49)
18. Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush Shamrocks) for Finnucane (54)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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