Fermanagh 3-05 Cavan 1-13

Fermanagh narrowly lost out in the semi-final of the Tom Hogan Cup in a very competitive game in Lisnaskea.

It was a game that was in the melting pot throughout and the effort put in by the squad, not just on Saturday but throughout a short season is something manager Cyril Dunne is extremely proud of.

“The lads have trained when we asked them to with a positive and winning attitude. This has made my job of managing the team that bit easier,” he said.

“I am gutted after today. We played some really good hurling but the frees against us was the difference between the teams. Their free taker was scoring from 70 meters and you just can’t defend that when the referee gives the free.”

Dunne said it was evident in the changing room after the game what the defeat meant adding: “Every member of the squad prepared right and went into today with the winning attitude but we came out the wrong end of a very close match.

“Every man out there done the job that was asked of them. They gave it their all and that’s what makes the defeat even harder.

“We had the winning of the game but just couldn’t get across the line this time.”

Cavan started brightly with points from Dara Leddy, a free from Darragh Boyle, who was deadly accurate from the placed ball all day, and James Tally which helped the Breffini men into a three point lead.

Fermanagh sparked to life with a goal from Joe O’Connor, then Boyle and Ryan Gilleece got a brace of frees each before a wonderful goal by Cahair McManus.

Kyle Doogan finished Fermanagh’s first half scoring but Cavan got three more points from placed ball from that man Boyle again.

Then Cavan raised a green flag with Leddy scoring the three pointer.

Just before half time Fermanagh captain and talisman Cahair McManus shifted a very heavy tackle and he had to leave the field with concussion sadly unable to return.

Fermanagh started brightly in the second half with a point from sub Kilean Dolan followed up by a Doogan goal and a Cormac Daly point.

Fermanagh also kept Cavan scoreless in that vital third quarter.

However, frees were going to have a massive say in the way this game would end.

Cavan got two scores from John McDermott and Ben Tully before the ever reliable Boyle got another two points.

Cavan finished the scoring with a point from long range by centre back Tadgh Barry.

For Fermanagh in defence James Bartley, Darragh Gormley and Paidi Drumm really stood out with Conor Clifford putting in an unbelievable shift in midfield. In the forwards Joe O’Connor and Cahair McManus stood out.

For the visitors Darragh Boyle and James Tully were very strong in the middle of the park with support from Barry at centre back and Rian Delaney at centre forward.

Fermanagh are now in the third/fourth place playoff against the losers of Monaghan and Louth on July 24 with the winners of the same fixture playing Cavan for the Tom Hogan Cup.