Fermanagh 0-18 Clare 1-10
Fermanagh secured a vital win in their bid to remain in Division Two of the Allianz National Football League Division Two with a deserved win over Clare in Brewster Park on Sunday.
Fermanagh turned in a dominant second half to bag the points as they turned over Clare regularly and kicked some excellent points from play while Sean Quigley was in superb place kicking form.
Fermanagh led by a point at the break following an even opening period and started the second half well to lead by four before Clare levelled with a quick fire goal and a point.
The game was certainly in the melting pot at that stage but pleasingly it was Fermanagh who dug deepest to take the game by the scruff of the neck and they dominated the final quarter to win by five points at the final whistle.
The first half started slowly but certainly livened up as it progressed.
Fermanagh got off to a bittersweet start as Tomas Corrigan kicked the opening point after a good run from the impressive Barry Mulrone but it was to Corrigan’s last action as he limped off soon after.
Eoin McManus replaced him and was soon in the action but fisted wide from a narrow angle.
Clare levelled the game when Lee Cullen misplaced a pass and David Tubridy pointed from distance.
There was little between the teams and Cleary edged Clare ahead from a somewhat harsh free given by Marty Duffy but Barry Mulrone quickly replied.
It was more of the same when Tubridy kicked a free to edge the visitors ahead but again Fermanagh replied instantly with Paul McCusker kicking a good score to make it 0-03 each..
Fermanagh then edged two points ahead with two good frees from Sean Quigley with McManus fouled on both occasions before Clare hit back.
Cleary pointed a free that was brought forward for dissent and while Fermanagh scored a fine point from Courtney following an excellent ball from Connor, the Munster men hit two quick frees from Cleary to level the game once more at 0-06 each approaching half time.
However, Fermanagh responded well with some excellent running and passing as they sliced through the Clare defence and Lyons fed Quigley who opted for the point instead of a more difficult goal chance. Ryan Jones then pointed to make it 0-08 to 0-06 but Clare had the last say with another pointed free from Cleary to make it 0-08 to 0-07 at the break.
It was Fermanagh who came out all guns blazing in the second half as Eddie Courtney turned and fired over a fine point with his right foot before Breen repeated the feat with an excellent long range point.
Fermanagh then hit the upright twice in a matter of second before Sean Quigley had a goal effort blocked on the line but he kicked the resultant 45 to give Fermanagh a four point lead.
However, Fermanagh’s fine start was quickly undone as Clare scythed through the Fermanagh defence and Keelan Sexton palmed the ball to an empty net and when Tubridy kicked a free soon after the game was level with all to play.
If Fermanagh’s resolve was fragile after three defeats in a row, it did not show as they took the game to Clare and quickly reasserted their advantage.
Aidan Breen kicked another good point from play and then Quigley kicked three superb frees one of which was from fully 50 metres and a 45 to give Fermanagh a 0-16 to 1-08 which they were not to relinquish.
Indeed, the 45 was after Quigley had another goal chance but his low shot was turned away by the foot of visiting keeper Joe Hayes.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Fermanagh were in control and while Clare hit points from Malone and Tubridy, Fermanagh replied each time through Breen and Mulrone to run out deserving winners by 0-18 to 1-10.
1, Thomas Treacy, 2 Mickey Jones, 3 Che Cullen, 4 Kane Connor, 5 Conor P Murphy,
6 Barry Mulrone (0-02), 7 Aidan Breen (0-03), 8 Eoin Donnelly (c), 9 Lee Cullen, 10 Paul McCusker (0-01)
11 Ryan Jones (0-01), 12 Ryan Lyons, 13 Eddie Courtney (0-02), 14 Sean Quigley (0-08, 6f, 1 45), 15 Tomás Corrigan (0-01)
Subs Eoin McManus for Corrigan, Declan McCusker for Murphy, James McMahon for Lyons, Daryl Keenan for Eoin McManus, Tommy McCaffrey for Courtney and Cathal Beacom for Paul McCusker
Clare 1 Joe Hayes, 2 Martin McMahon, 3 Kevin Harnett, 4 John Hayes, 5 Liam Markham, 6 Gordon Kelly, 7 Dean Ryan, 8 Cathal O'Connor, 9 Ciaran Russell, 10 Cian O'Dea, 11 Keelan Sexton(1-00), 12 Shane Brennan, 13 Eoin Cleary (0-05, 4f), 14 David Tubridy (0-04, 2f), 15 Jamie Malone (0-01),
Subs David Egan for O’Dea, Eoghan Collins for John Hayes, Seanie Malone for Cleary and Darren Nagle for Ryan