Donnellan and O'Brien the heroes as Longford sink Erne men
Longford savoured glory for the second time in this competition at Croke Park, with ace finishers Eoin Donnellan and Joe O'Brien shooting down Fermanagh's challenge.
Longford 3-18 Fermanagh 3-16 - Lory Meagher Cup final
Donnellan helped himself to a 1-8 haul, while O'Brien chipped in with 2-2 in a decider laced with attacking enterprise and sumptuous scores.
Erne full-forward Declan McGarry fired home a hat-trick of goals, but still finished on the losing side, an outcome made all the more remarkable by the fact that Sean Corrigan's 10-point tally also failed to coax the silverware to the northern province.
Fermanagh certainly had fortune on their side for their opening goal, McGarry's speculative effort from under the Cusack Stand deceiving goalkeeper Paddy Cullen and ending in the net.
But his second strike was all about quality, drilled home at the end of a flowing move as the Ernesiders eased into a four-point lead.
Longford responded with long range scores from John Newman and Kevin Connelly, and went level in the 24th minute with O'Brien's first goal.
O'Brien netted his second goal to give Longford a massive boost soon after the restart, before Fermanagh sub Shea Curran sent over a point.
But the Ulster men suffered a double blow when defender Daniel Teague was sent off on a straight red card, before Donnellan sent a 68 metre free all the way to the net in the 57th minute.
Longford were also reduced to 14 men when corner-back Conor Egan was sent off and Fermanagh fought back with points from McGarry and Corrigan. McGarry blasted a 20-metre free direct to the net for his hat-trick to narrow the gap to a point, but the Midlanders held out forthe win.
Scorers: Longford: E Donnellan 1-9 (1-7fs, 0-1 '65'), J O'Brien 2-2, C Mullane 0-3, K Connelly 0-2, J Newman, J Casey 0-1 each. Fermanagh: D McGarry 3-1 (1-0f), S Corrigan 0-10 (8fs, 1 '65'), C Corrigan, J Duffy, S Curran, R Bogue, F McBrien 0-1 each.
Longford: P Cullen; C Egan, B Stakem, K Murray, P Corcoran, C Flanagan, R Donnellan, J Casey, D Tanner, E Donnellan, M Coyle, K Connelly, J O'Brien, C Mullane, J Newman. Subs: G Ghee for Newman, C Kavanagh for Corcoran, T Stakem for Donnellan.
Fermanagh: M Curry, D Teague, E Morrissey, F Bannon, M Teague, M Slevin, JP McGarry, R Bogue, F McBrien, J Duffy, B McGarry, A Breslin, S Corrigan, D McGarry, C Corrigan. Subs: S Curran for Bannon, B Duffy for B McGarry, M Beggan for McBrien.
Referee: J Clarke (Cavan)