It was a long awaited return to the Ulster Championship for Fermanagh and Down as they faced off at Brewster Park today (Sunday) and it was the Mourne men who had too much and booked a semi-final spot against Cavan, as it finished 0-11 to 1-15. 

In what was a nip and tuck first 40 minutes with the crucial turning point in the game coming in the 42nd minute when Down's pace, which had caused problems all day for Fermanagh, exposed the home side's defence and created the chance for Donal O'Hare to palm to the net.

With a three-point cushion, Down were happy to sit back and break on the counterattack, with Barry O'Hagan an influential figure.

Fermanagh were guilty of not executing the basics throughout the game and were made to pay, especially in the second half.

The Erne men probably shaded proceedings in a pedestrian first 35 minutes as both sides worked to stamp their authority on the game.

Defences were packed at either end but while Fermanagh played out around the middle trying to tease Down out, the visitors used their pace at every opportunity to put Fermanagh on the back foot.

Darragh McGurn opened the scoring for Fermanagh in the first minute after he turned his marker. 

It took until the eighth minute for Down to register when Donal O'Hare popped over a free.

And the first half more or less continued with the sides trading scores after this with O'Hare and Fermanagh's Tomás Corrigan to the fore for both their sides.

Indeed O'Hare was the only player in the first half to have a sniff at goal as he got a hand to a high ball in which came back of the post and he fired over after winning another high ball over Kane Connor not long after.

Ciaran Corrigan hit a fine score for Fermanagh while Jerome Johnston also got on the scoresheet for the visitors in the first half.

With five minutes of the half remaining Tomás Corrigan converted a free after he was fouled to put his side 0-06 to 0-05 in front but Down finished the stronger side.

First Caolan Mooney hit a fine score from distance to level matters and this was quickly followed by a massive left footed strike from out wide by O'Hagan as Down led 0-07 to 0-06 at the break.

O'Hagan, who was the best player on the pitch throughout, picked up where he left off immediately after the restart, this time with his right, to move Down two in front.

But two frees by Corrigan had Fermanagh level by the 40th minute, 0-08 apiece.

A goal was always going to be crucial in this game and it was Down who grabbed it in the 42nd minute.

Mooney used his pace to drive towards the Fermanagh goal before laying off to Daniel Guinness. Guinness may have thought about shooting but instead opted to square the ball across to O'Hare who had the simple task of palming to the net to make it 1-08 to 0-08.

Down kicked on and hit the next six points without reply from O'Hagan (2), Corey Quinn and the Johnston brothers, Jerome, and Ryan. 

Ryan Johnston had a sight at goal but opted to fist over while he followed that up with a fine outside of the boot almost immediately after. At the other end most Fermanagh attacks ended up in torunovers and let Down break at speed.

Fermanagh substitute Paul McCusker got his side's first score in over 30 minutes in inury time before Mooney hit a cracking score in response for Down.

The home side did hit the final two scores of the game through Conall Jones and Daniel Teague but they were mere consolations as their Ulster Championship ended in disappointing fashion.