Monday 19 November 2018

Manager Coggins certain London can take another scalp

London 0-15, Fermanagh 0-9

Having brought an end to their 34-year winless streak, London manager Paul Coggins believes his team can push on and cause another shock before the summer is out.

The Exiles chalked up their first championship success since 1977 against Fermanagh on Saturday, the six-point margin of victory no more than Coggins' charges deserved.

Having brought Mayo to extra-time last month, a rip-roaring start from London ensured there would be no near miss this time. They used the breeze to good effect in the first half to lead 0-9 to 0-1 at the change of ends and despite the Ernesiders dominating for large spells after the break, London capitalised on the scoring opportunities that came their way to record their first ever championship win at Ruislip.

"There are feelings of great elation and happiness," said Coggins after the final whistle. "We worked very hard to achieve something and we achieved it. We've a great bunch of players and they put everything in there today, absolutely everything.

"Fermanagh came here to win the game and we never gave them a second. The performance was immense.

"We are going to enjoy it, but we've all got to make improvements and we're not finished yet. We're looking forward to the season continuing for another while and I suppose causing more fixture chaos in London."

From the first whistle, London had signalled their intent. Paul Geraghty, who dominated midfield against Mayo, was deployed on the edge of the square as the hosts looked to make full use of the strong wind on their backs.

The Galway man wasn't missed in the middle, where Derek Hagan and Mark Gottsche were in complete control early on, as London recorded four unanswered points in the opening 12 minutes -- full-forwards Padraig McGoldrick, Eoin O'Neill (2) and Kevin O'Leary all getting off the mark.

The onslaught continued for the remainder of the half, although it was only late on that London made it tell on the scoreboard, three points in the final three minutes giving them a deserved 0-9 to 0-1 lead at the break.

Fermanagh's only score of the first half came from Tomas Corrigan, which was greeted with ironic jeers by 1,200-strong crowd.

The Ernesiders upped their game after the restart, John O'Flanaghan finding his range with five points to reduce the arrears to four with 15 minutes left.

But London never panicked, and scores from Ciaran McCallion and subs Killian Phair and Cathal O'Sullivan ensured a historic victory.

"I was pleased at half-time," said Coggins, "but I knew we were in for a real hard fight. We just kept with it and the lads got some great scores to take the pressure off.

"The holidays can wait."

Scorers -- London: E O'Neill 0-4 (2f), K O'Leary, P McGoldrick, C McCallion 0-2 each, P Geraghty, M Gottsche, T Gaughan, K Phair, C O'Sullivan 0-1 each. Fermanagh: J O'Flanaghan 0-5 (2f), D Kille (1f) 0-2, T Corrigan, B Og Maguire 0-1 each.

London -- E Byrne 7; B Comer 9, M Moloney 8, D McGreevy 7; S Doolan 7, T Gaughan 8, D O'Neill 7; D Hagan 7, M Gottsche 8; C McCallion 8, P Geraghty 8, S McVeigh 8; K O'Leary 9, P McGoldrick 7, E O'Neill 8. Subs: C O'Sullivan 7 for Hagan (47), K Phair 7 for McGoldrick (59), J Collins 6 for McCallion (54), S Kelly 6 for O'Neill (68).

Fermanagh -- J McGrath 5; J Woods 6, B Owens 8, M Jones 6; M O'Brien 5, N McGovern 5, K Cosgrove 5; R Jones 6, R O'Callaghan 5; J O'Flanaghan 8, N Cassidy 6, B Og Maguire 7; S Quigley 5, D Kille 6, T Corrigan 5. Subs: H Brady 6 for O'Callaghan (31), D McCusker 6 for Cassidy (36), C O'Brien 6 for Cosgrove (44), P Ward 5 for Corrigan (46).

Ref -- D Fahy (Longford).

Irish Independent

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