Ulster SFC: thriller at Brewster as Saffrons sink Ernemen

June 01, 2014

Fermanagh's Sean Quigley with Antrim's Ricky Johnston
©INPHO
It was hearts-in-the-mouth stuff at Enniskillen as Antrim recorded a dramatic 2-18 to 3-13 victory over Fermanagh.

A crowd of 8,256 spectators looked on in disbelief at times as Liam Bradley's men held on in a nail-biting climax to clinch a semi-final date with Donegal

An amazing run of 1-10 without reply saw the visitors lead by twelve points after half an hour but Fermanagh in turn registered 1-4 without reply before the short whistle to trail by just five points at the break, 1-10 to 1-5.

Sean Quigley kicked the Ernemen into an early lead off his left peg but the visitors replied with a brace from Brian Neeson before Kevin Niblock arrowed one over from the right wing to make it 0-3 to 0-1 after five minutes.

Points followed from Neeson, Paul McCann (2), Tomas McCann and Michael McCann (2) before Neeson rifled his shot to the roof of the net to leave the Fermanagh men reeling. McCann then converted a free won by Neeson to leave a twelve-point gulf between the teams.

Antrim had Conor Murray black-carded with the lead at 0-5 to 0-1...

Sean Quigley converted his second free for Fermanagh in the 31st minute and then followed up by palming the ball to the net. Pete McGrath's men kept going until the short whistle and further points from Eoin Donnelly, Paul McCusker and Paul Ward (free) meant they were still in contention at the interval.

A McCusker point on the restart narrowed the gap to four but the winners replied emphatically with a major from Kevin Niblock. Substitute Ryan Murray pointed with his first touch to propel the Saffrons into an eight-point lead after 41 minutes.

Quigley points kept Fermanagh in the game and Barry Owens fired to the net after switching from defence to attack for the home side. Despite a Marty O'Brien point, the hosts still trailed by five with as many minutes left, 2-18 to 2-13.

O'Brien plundered a late goal for Fermanagh to set up a grandstand finale and there was chaos in the Antrim rearguard as the losers came forward in search of a winning goal at the death.

After a series of close shaves, Antrim held on for a two-point victory.

Fermanagh - C Snow; R McCluskey, B Owens (1-0), J Woods; D McCusker, C Cullen, T McElroy; E Donnelly (0-1), R O'Callaghan; L Cullen, R Jones, P McCusker (0-3); P Ward (0-1f), Sean Quigley (1-6, 0-5f), E Maguire (0-1). Subs: M O'Brien (1-1) for J Woods, A Breen for P Ward, M Murphy for L Cullen, R Corrigan for P McCusker, B Mulrone for C Cullen.

Antrim - P Flood; K O'Boyle, R Johnston, N Delargy; M Johnston, J Crozier, J Laverty; M McCann (0-2), M Sweeney; C Murray, K Niblock (1-3, 0-1f), P McCann (0-2); B Neeson (1-6, 0-1f), N McKeever, T McCann (0-3, 2f). Subs: M Armstrong for C Murray (BC), P McBride for J Laverty (BC), R Murray (0-2) for P McCann, D Lynch for M Armstrong, S McVeigh for M Sweeney.

Referee - C Branagan.


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