Friday 20 October 2017

McDonnell-led revival proves too little, too late

Fermanagh 1-8
Armagh 1-6

FERMANAGH manager Malachy O'Rourke has hailed his team's progression to the semi-finals.

"It's obviously encouraging to be in the last four but the League is our primary focus. We have several new guys who have come in and acquitted themselves well and that is the real bonus," insists O'Rourke.

His side looked to be on course to a handsome victory when they led by 1-4 to 0-2 at the break yesterday, a 27th-minute goal from Ryan Jones underpinning their authority.

But when Armagh boss Paddy O'Rourke pitched Steven McDonnell into the action in the 49th minute, the landscape transformed as he scored his team's only goal and three frees to leave his side just one point adrift.

Fermanagh, however, closed ranks and their tenacious tackling and covering to keep their hosts at bay.

Scorers -- Fermanagh: R Jones 1-3 (0-1f), K Flaherty 0-2, C O'Brien, J Connolly R Carson 0-1 each. Armagh: S McDonnell 1-3 (0-3 f) M Mackin, B Mallon (0-1f) M McNamee 0-1 each.

Fermanagh -- Ronan Gallagher; N Bogue, S Lyons, M O'Brien; R Keenan, B Mulrone, P Sherry; R Jones, T McIlroy; D Kelly, K Flaherty, P Gormley; P Ward, C O'Brien, J Connolly. Subs: Rory Gallagher for Ward (h/t), A McCarron for Gormley (43 min), R Foy for R Keenan (51), R Carson for Kelly (60), M Keenan for Flaherty (63).

Armagh -- P Hearty; A Mallon, K Toner, P Duffy; S O'Neill, B Donaghy, F Moriarty; C Vernon, J Lavery; M Mackin, B Mallon, J O'Neill; M McNamee, R Clarke, J Feeney. Subs: G Swift for O'Neill (38 mins), P Kernan for S O'Neill (43), S McDonnell for Feeney (49), R Austin for McNamee (50), R Henderson for B Mallon (65).

Ref -- J Galligan (Cavan).

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport