If Fermanagh hurlers are to regain the Lory Meagher Cup, which they last won in 2021, they will be doing it the hard way.

For while they eventually overcame a strong Lancashire outfit by 1-23 to 0-20 and still hit 17 wides, Longford’s somewhat surprise win over a fancied Cavan side has thrown the competition wide open.

Had Fermanagh and Cavan won the way was paved for a Fermanagh and Cavan final. But now the Ernesiders have a really tough task next weekend when they go to Longford and must win in that tight pitch if they want to see Croke Park in early June.

But for long periods Lancashire really tested Joe Baldwin’s boys and there were aspects of the game that Baldwin was not pleased with.

“Lancashire are a very good side and have some very nice hurlers and they were in the Lory Meagher Cup final last year and we are just delighted to get another few points on the board,” he said.

It was an incredible first half with a total of 32 points, but Baldwin was concerned that a lot of Lancashire’s scores came from their half-forward line and midfield marksman Eoghan Clifford who hit 0-10.

“I was disappointed that quite a few of their scores came from bad play by us when we gave the ball away and Eoghan Clifford was on fire.

"We put Aidan Flanagan on him and we knew our bench was strong and the longer the game went on but after that goal for us, there was probably only going to be one winner.

“Brian Teehan took it very well and we went from being a point down to being two up which was very important for us.

“He is a class act but we hit 17 wides and we won by six points and we are a bit disappointed and it probably tells you just how high we set the bar for ourselves.

“It goes to show how dominant we became in that game.”

And Baldwin acknowledged the stellar contribution again of Sean Corrigan, who hit eight points from play, and was man of the match but more importantly he got the scores when they were needed.

“Sean is leading by example week in, week out and he was our man of the match, I cannot say enough about him as he is a wee bit like fine wine as he seems to get better the older he gets.”

More worryingly John Duffy picked up a knock to his knee and there will be an anxious wait to see if he will be fit to face London.

“We are a wee bit concerned about it and we will just have to see how he is during the week.”

When asked who they would meet in the final he said that Cavan and Leitrim could yet figure.

“I don’t know who we would meet in the final as Leitrim had a big win today and possibly could still make it as could Cavan and we don’t really know who we could meet.

“But we have to get there and there is a possibility that we could lose out so our whole focus is to go and win the game.

“It is in Longford and they tested us in the league and they have a new player in called Cian D’Arcy who scored 14 points today so we are really up against it.

“We will have to be at our very best to get a result next week.”