Fermanagh cruise to victory as things look bleak for Down
Down 0-10 Fermanagh 1-16
A local hero returned to turn his wrath on the county he lead to two All-Ireland titles back in the 90s. Pete McGrath guided Fermanagh to a nine points win over Down at Pairc Esler and a flying start to their NFL Division Two opener tonight.
Eoin McManus slotted home the only goal of the game 17 minutes from the end, and Tomas Corrigan’s deadly accuracy from frees carried the evening for the Lakelanders.
For Down, who failed to win a single game in Division One last year, this was a bleak start to what was meant to be a season of renewal and development. McGrath left Newry with the adulation of both sets of supporters ringing in his ears, for he’ll always be adored in these parts.
Fermanagh’s direct approach saw them run at a nervous defence in the opening stages, winning the frees from which Corrigan shot them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes. But for almost the entire second quarter, Fermanagh were on the back foot although they took a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead.
Corrigan added to his tally and wing back Aidan Breen charged through for a fine score within two minutes of the restart, and Down were in trouble again.
It was plain sailing almost all the way to the finish for Fermanagh, who encountered little resistance and even less in terms of backlash from a Down side that faces difficult days ahead.