Monaghan 1-10 Fermanagh 1-06

Fermanagh exited the qualifiers following a succession of missed chances and an injury time goal from Monaghan consigned Rory Gallagher’s men to 1-10 to 1-06 defeat.

Fermanagh ended the game with 12 men as first Lee Cullen received a red card for an off the ball incident in the 55th minute and then in the final play of the game, Paul McCusker and James McMahon were red carded for their part in a melee which also saw Monaghan water man Darren Hughes red carded for getting stuck in as well.

Fermanagh, though, have only themselves to blame missing a number chances throughout the game including a Sean Quigley penalty that was tipped around the post by Rory Beggan.

Fermanagh battled to the end and there was only one point between the teams going into injury time but Kieran Hughes intercepted  a short kick out to Declan McCusker and passed to Conor McCarthy who punched the ball into an open net.

That ended the game after which the melee ensued which also carried on after the final whistle with players having to be separated in an unsavoury end to the game.

Fermanagh had to start the game without captain Eoin Donnelly and Sean Quigley but they started well and when Ryan Lyons fired to the net on five minutes it was just the start that Rory Gallagher’s men wanted.

Conall Jones played the ball into Daniel Teague who broke the ball to Declan McCusker and he fisted the ball to the unmarked Lyons who slotted home low and hard past Rory Beggan.

Fermanagh then added a point when McCusker found Teague and he was dragged to the ground with Lyons converting the free.

It took Monaghan 14 minutes for the home side to open their account as they struggled to break down the packed Fermanagh defence.

The best way is to shoot from distance and that is exactly what Niall Kearns did as he pointed from beyond the 45m line to make it 1-01 to 0-01.

Teague then clipped over a super point from play as the Fermanagh gameplan was working.

However, from there to the half, it was Monaghan who hit five unanswered points to lead at the break.

Ryan McAnespie lofted over the left side and Kieran Hughes repeated the feat with two superb efforts play while superbly struck Rory Beggan free and one from Vinny Corey left the Farney men in front at the interval by 0-06 to 1-02.

Fermanagh were not without their chances but wides from Kane Connor, Conall Jones, one that dropped short from Aidan Breen and an Ultan Kelm goal chance that flew across the face of the goal negated some good work.

The second half started in a similar vein, as Mulrone dropped a shot short and Monaghan broke forward with a foul on Vinny Corey giving Ciaran McManus the opportunity to point which he did.

It was seven unanswered points in a row when Kieran Duffy pointed from play to make it 0-08 to 1-02 in the third quarter of the game.

Declan McCusker lofted over Fermanagh’s first score in near 20 minutes before Sean Quigley, who had come on just before the break, then kicked a free wide  while McManus made no mistake at the other end.

The game then took a decisive turn in the 53rd minute as the impressive Ultan Kelm played the ball into Quigley who was pushed to the ground with Maurice Deegan signalling a penalty.

Quigley’s kick was saved low down by Beggan and at the other end of the field, Lee Cullen received a red card for an off the ball incident for which Jack McCarron received a yellow.

Quigley did convert the 45 from Beggan’s save to make it 0-09 to 1-04 with seven minutes to go.

Fermanagh though missed good chances with the Jones brothers dropping efforts short before Conall fisted over a pass from Kelm to make it a one point game with 12 minutes remaining.

McCarron quickly converted a free to put two between the sides but Ciaran Corrigan pointed after a Quigley came back off the post to make it 0-10 to 1-06.

Fermanagh had a chance to level but Quigley’s free from wide on the right drifted wide and Monaghan missed a couple of chances of their own in five minutes of injury time.

Then the short kick out by James McGrath was intercepted by Hughes and McCarthy had the easy task of sealing the game in the 74th minute as he netted to make it 1-10 to 1-06.

The match ended with the melee and the red cards as Fermanagh’s championship season ended in an unsatisfactory and disappointing fashion.

Fermanagh: James McGrath, Jonny Cassidy, Che Cullen, Lee Cullen, Ultan Kelm, James McMahon, Kane Connor, Barry Mulrone, Ryan Jones, Daniel Teague (0-01), Aidan Breen, Ciaran Corrigan (0-01), Declan McCusker (0-01), Conall Jones (0-01), Ryan Lyons (1-01, 1f)

Subs: Sean Quigley (0-01, 1 45) for Teague, Kevin McDonnell for Mulrone, Paul McCusker for Breen, Darragh McGurn for Connor, Shane McGullion for McDonnell, Ciaran McBrien for Lyons

Monaghan Rory Beggan (0-01, 1f), Kieran Duffy (0-01), Vinny Corey (0-01), Ryan Wylie, Karl O’Connell, Conor Boyle, Dessie Ward, Fintan Kelly, Kieran Hughes (0-02), Ryan McAnespie (0-01), Dermot Malone, Shane Carey, Conor McCarthy (1-00), Niall Kearns (0-01), Conor McManus (0-02, 1f)

Subs: Jack McCarron (0-01, 1f) for Carey, Dessie Mone for Ward, Drew Wylie for Corey, Micheal Bannigan for Malone