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Injury time winner from Woods gives Fermanagh victory over Westmeath

Peter Canavan has his first championship win with the Ernesiders as they progress to the next round of the qualifiers.

Tomás Corrigan has enjoyed a productive start for Femanagh.
Tomás Corrigan has enjoyed a productive start for Femanagh.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Fermanagh 3-10

Westmeath 1-15

FERMANAGH EDGED A resilient Westmeath out by a point at Cusack Park, Mullingar, to advance to the next round of the All Ireland SFC qualifiers.

The Ernesiders led by five points in the first half but Westmeath, with the wind at their back in the second half, never gave up. They were down to 14 mean in the closing stages when Callum McCormack knocked over two points but Fermanagh defender John woods sealed the win in injury time.

Dennis Glennon got the scoring underway in the SFC Qualifier but Seán Quigley soon levelled matters for Peter Canavan’s side. The Fermanagh forward was a physical menace for his side in the opening stages and added two more points to make it 0-3 to 0-1 after 15 minutes.

John Heslin tagged a point back before Fermanagh got a huge break. Conor Quigley lofted a high ball in for his namesake, Seán, but it evaded both him and Westmeath goalkeeper Gary Connaughton to drop into the net. The Westmeath netminder was unhappy at the close attention of the Fermanagh forward but referee Rory Hickey was happy with the score.

Glennon and Heslin responded with points for the home side to cut the deficit before Seán Quigley registered his fourth point of the afternoon.

Denis Corroon slotted over his first point of the day to appease the home fans but they were soon wailing when Fermanagh’s slick hand passes fashioned a goal chance that Damian Kelly finished well from 15 yards out. Corroon and Heslin added points to give themselves hope of a second-half comeback but Westmeath will have to cut out their wides. However, Tomás Corrigan had the final say with a point on the half-time whistle.

Fermanagh’s Sean Quigley and Westmeath’s Paul Sharry. (©INPHO/Ken Sutton)

Ger Egan pointed for Westmeath early in the second half before Kelly cancelled that out for the visitors. Fermanagh could have pulled further clear but their shooting from open play was wayward. Callum McCormack’s 45 made it 2-6 to 0-9 and the Erne County side were beginning to curse their attacker’s profligacy.

The game was soon level as referee Hickey awarded a penalty to the home side when Chris Snow bundled Glennon over. Heslin stepped up to comfortably slot home. Egan then put Westmeath in front with a point but Canavan’s men were not finished yet.

Ryan Jones showed great strength to wrestle off his marker and slam a super goal into the top corner. Quigley added a free less than a minute after and Corrigan slotted over to make it 3-8 to 1-10.

Heslin continued his fine, personal game with two finely taken frees to make it a two point game going into the final 15 minutes. A second yellow for Kieran Martin was a huge blow for the home side and the forward seemed aware of this as he trudged to the sidelines. Westmeath pushed for a late score regardless and McCormack was close, but not close enough, to snatching it with a flashing shot on goal that just went over.

Westmeath pressed for the equaliser and were rewarded when McCormack nabbed a late, late point. Wood refused to countenance a replay as he rattled over a late point in injury time to make it 3-10 to 1-15.

Scorers for Fermanagh: C Quigley 1-0, D Kelly 1-1, Ryan Jones 1-0, S Quigley 0-6 (2f), T Corrigan 0-2, J Woods 0-1.

Scorers for Westmeath: J Heslin 1-5 (2f), D Corroon 0-3, C McCormack 0-3 (1 ’45) D Glennon 0-2, G Egan 0-2.

FERMANAGH: Chris Snow (Ederney St Joseph’s); John Woods (Lisnaskea), Brian Cox (Belcoo), Damian Kelly (Tempo); Declan McCusker (Ederney St Joseph’s), Ryan McCluskey (Enniskillen Gaels), Marty O’Brien (Devenish); Eoin Donnelly (Coa), Martin McGrath (Ederney St Joseph’s); Conor Quigley (Roslea), Shane McCabe (Belcoo), Ryan Jones (Derrygonnelly); Tomás Corrigan (Kinawley), Seán Quigley (Roslea), Tommy McElroy (Brookeboro).

Subs: Ruairí Corrigan for C Quigley (35)

WESTMEATH: Gary Connaughton (Tubberclair); Mark McCallion (Garrycastle), Kieran Gavin (Mullingar Shamrocks),  Kevin Maguire (Caulry); John Gaffey (Garrycastle),Paul Sharry (St Loman’s), James Dolan (Garrycastle); David Duffy (Shandonagh), John Heslin (St Loman’s); Kieran Martin (Maryland), Callum McCormack (Maryland), Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks); Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass), Lorcan Smith (Mullingar Shamrocks), Denis Glennon (Tyrrellspass).

Subs: Dessie Dolan (45)

Referee: Rory Hickey, Clare

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Patrick McCarry

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