Here’s how the two Allianz NHL Division 3 matches unfolded.
Fermanagh 3-15 Laois 3-9
Fermanagh moved right into the promotion mix in Division Three with a deserving six-point win over Laois at Brewster Park yesterday.
Kieran Donnelly’s side kicked some excellent scores over the course of the contest with Sean Quigley at the centre of things in the full forward line as he hit 1-5 of his side’s tally.
It was Laois who were to grab the first goal of the game when full forward Evan O’Carroll took advantage of a wayward Cian Newman kickout to put them into an early 1-1 to 0-2 lead.
However, Fermanagh took control in the second quarter and Ciaran Corrigan put them two points to the good with an emphatic finish to the back of the net.
And the Ernemen were to go in at the break with a 2-6 to 1-3 lead as Quigley held off the challenge of a defender calmly slotting home late in the half.
Laois made the perfect start to the second half when Mark Barry grabbed a goal in the 37th minute after Gary Walsh’s free had dropped short but two Ryan Lyons points were the ideal response from the home side.
Fermanagh pushed further clear in the 48th minute as they swooped for their third goal with Conall Jones and Lyons combining to tee up the impressive McGurn who broke through a tackle before firing to the roof of the net.
With Corrigan and Josh Largo Elis among the points Fermanagh moved into a 3-13 to 2-8 lead with 66 minutes gone but Laois were given a glimmer of hope when Barry netted his second goal of the game to leave five between the sides.
Fermanagh though were not to be denied and after Corrigan and Gary Walsh exchanged points, the Ernemen wrapped up the win with a Garvan Jones point to leave it 3-15 to 3-9 at the final whistle.
Scorers – Fermanagh: S Quigley 1-5 (2f), C Corrigan 1-3, D McGurn 1-0, R Jones 0-2, R Lyons 0-2, C Jones 0-1, J Largo Elis 0-1, G Jones 0-1 Laois: M Barry 2-1, E O’Carroll 1-2, G Walsh 0-4 (4f), K Lillis 0-1 (m), A Mohan 0-1.
Fermanagh: C Newman; G Cavanagh, J Cassidy, L Flanagan; A Breen, J McMahon, D McCusker; R Jones, B Horan; C Corrigan, D McGurn, J Largo Elis; R Lyons, C Jones, S Quigley. Subs: D Leonard for D McCusker (21), R O’Callaghan for Breen (69), G Jones for C Jones (69).
Laois: M Byron; J Kelly, T Collins, A Mohan; S O’Flynn, J O’Loughlin, G Dillon; K Lillis, J Finn; B Byrne, E Lowry, P O’Sullivan; M Barry, E O’Carroll, G Walsh. Subs: A Farrell for Finn (h/t), B Daly for Lowry (43), D O’Reilly for Dillon (48), R Munnelly for Lillis (50), C Murphy for Kelly (60).
Referee: Joe McQuillan.
Longford 0-14 Westmeath 0-10
Westmeath’s promotion hopes were dealt a severe blow in cold but pleasant conditions in Mullingar yesterday afternoon when relegation-threatened Longford deservedly won the local derby.
Longford’s Mickey Quinn was denied a goal in the fourth minute when Jason Daly pulled off a fine save. Four minutes later, Alex Gardiner nudged Westmeath ahead.
Darren Gallagher and Jonathan Lynam exchanged points. Scores from Sam McCartan, John Heslin (who had untypically spurned two earlier opportunities) and Lorcan Dolan put the home team ahead by 0-5 to 0-1 with 17 minutes on the clock.
Wind-assisted Longford responded with a couple of fine frees by Gallagher before Joseph Hagan’s low-trajectory shot in the 25th minute was superbly saved by Daly at the expense of a point.
Longford availed of turnovers to finish the half strongly with late points from Dylan Farrell (a free) and Hagan (his third) and they led 0-8 to 0-7 at the end of an error-ridden first half.
Nigel Harte equalised a mere 15 seconds after play resumed.
Three minutes later, Westmeath spurned a great opportunity of a goal when Dolan was fouled in the large parallelogram, but Heslin’s weak penalty was saved by Paddy Collum.
Heslin soon compensated with a great point, but the Lake County men were not to score for another half an hour. Longford took control and they went on to rifle over six unanswered points before the end of the match via Hagan (a mark), Jack Duggan (a free), Jayson Matthews, Farrell (a free), Keelin McGann, and corner back Patrick Fox.
Westmeath’s lot was sealed when David Lynch was red-carded in the 63rd minute. Indeed, they ended the game with 13 players when sub Kieran Martin was black-carded in added-time.
Another sub TJ Cox rounded off the scoring with a late point, but it was the visitors who deservedly won the day to somewhat ease their relegation worries.
Scorers – Longford: J Hagan 0-4 (1m), D Gallagher 0-3 (1f), D Farrell (2fs), J Matthews 0-2 each, P Fox, J Duggan (f), K McGann 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Heslin, A Gardiner 0-2 each, N Harte, S McCartan, J Lynam, R O’Toole, L Dolan, TJ Cox 0-1 each.
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; J Moran, E McCormack, I O’Sullivan; R Moffett, D Gallagher; J Hagan, D Farrell, M Quinn; J Matthews, M Hughes, J Duggan. Subs: K McGann for Moffett (43), A McGuire for Hughes (47), O Kenny for Matthews (64), D Doherty for Duggan (66), K Diffly for Gallagher (69).
Westmeath: J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, D Giles; N Harte, R Wallace, S McCartan; S Duncan, J Lynam; D Lynch, R O’Toole, L Dolan; L Loughlin, J Heslin, A Gardiner. Subs: S Baker for Loughlin (h-t), S Allen for Giles (h-t), K Martin for Dolan (51), TJ Cox for Gardiner (60), R Forde for O’Toole (69).
Referee: B Tiernan (Dublin).