Longford 3-18 Fermanagh 3-16
A strong second half performance saw Longford claim the Lory Meagher Cup with two points to spare over Fermanagh. Longford had struggled in the opening half but despite their poor performance they only trailed by the minimum at the break; 2-08 to 1-10. They were a different side in the second half and were full value for their win.
Two early points from Cathal Mullane opened Longford’s account but Fermanagh replied with a ’65 from Sean Corrigan and a goal from Declan McGarry. Johnny Casey got another point for Longford before Corrigan hit over a point for his side. Points from John Newman and Kevin Connelly either side of a Francis McBrien point cut the gap to one beforeMcGarry got his second goal of the game.
Connelly and Corrigan (free) traded scores before Longford created a few chances. Joe O’Brien fired over a neat score and then Mullane brought a good save out of Fermanagh keeper Mark Curry. Eoin Donnellan hit over the resulting ’65. Ryan Bogue put a goal between them in the23rd minute but Longford responded with a goal from O’Brien. Both sides hit over two points apiece as half-time approached and in added time Corrigan hit over another free to give is side a slender lead at the break.
Longford upped their performance in the second half and within one minute of the restart were on level terms with a terrific long-range free from Donnellan. O’Brien edged them in front and then in the 38th minute he got his second goal of the game after being set up by Mullane.
Corrigan hit a free over for Fermanagh in the 40th minute. Two quick points put Longford ahead by five in the 42ndminute but that was cut to three five minutes later.
Donnellan (free) and Mullane restored Longford’s advantage before Fermanagh were reduced to 14 men when Daniel Teague was sent off. Sean (free) and Ciaran Corrigan brought the game back to three points in the 56th minute.
A speculative long-range free from Donnellan in the 57thminute ended up in the net and stretched Longford’s lead to six points. Frees were exchanged between Corrigan andDonnellan before Longford found themselves down to 14 when Conor Egan was sent off for remonstrating with the referee after he was fouled and no action taken.
In the final seven minutes Fermanagh began a fightback;McGarry and Corrigan hit over points before a questionable free in the 66th minute ended up with McGarry getting his and his side’s third goal to cut the gap to just one.
Longford though held their nerve and showed great composure. Donnellan hit over another free two minutes from time and they were able to hold on for a memorable win.Longford: Paddy Cullen; Conor Egan, Brendan Stakem, Karl Murray; Paddy Corcoran, Conor Flanagan, Rory Donnellan; Johnny Casey (0-1), Declan Tanner; Eoin Donnellan (1-9, 8f, ’65), Martin Coyle, Kevin Connell (0-2); Joe O’Brien (2-2),Cathal Mullane (0-3), John Newman (0-1).
Subs used: Gareth Ghee for Newman (41), Cian Kavanagh for Corcoran (65), Thomas Stakem for E Donnellan (70).Fermanagh: Mark Curry; Daniel Teague, Eoin Morrissey,Ferus Bannon; Matthew Teague, Mark Slevin, John PaulMcGarry; Ryan Bogue (0-1), Francis McBrien (0-1); John Duffy (0-1), Brendan McGarry, Thomas Cleary; Sean Corrigan (0-10, 8f, ’65), Declan McGarry (3-1), Ciaran Corrigan (0-1). Subs used: Shea Curran (0-1) for Bannon (41), Rory Duffy for B McGarry (55), Martin Beggan for McBrien (70). Referee: James Clarke (Cavan)