Fermanagh's late surge burns off Wexford
Fermanagh 0-19 Wexford 1-11
Fermanagh delivered with an inspired second-half display to dispose of a spirited Wexford side in this qualifier clash. From the opening exchanges it was evident that this was going to turn into a real dogfight.
With Wexford getting off to a sluggish start, Fermanagh took full advantage racing into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead inside the opening eight minutes.
Sean Quigley pointed them in front inside the opening minute with a huge fifty-metre free.
Donal Shanley brought the hosts level with a free a minute later but the Ulster side struck back with three unanswered points, all frees - one from Tomas Corrigan and two from Quigley.
Wexford were playing with two attackers withdrawn behind the ball in a bid to stem the tide, and a Shanley free reduced the deficit.
The visitors had the wherewithal up front to keep on testing the home side's full-back line. Midfielder Eoin Donnelly picked out Quigley with a delightful ball inside, but the full-forward saw his rising shot rebound back into play off the crossbar, with Corrigan pointing from the rebound to leave his side leading 0-5 to 0-2 after 11 minutes.
Though Fermanagh were never out of sight, Wexford were struggling for scores from play. Shanley added two more frees, but in between, Fermanagh wing-back Aidan Breen joined the attack to send over a fine point.
It was not until the 20th minute that Wexford had their opening score from play through John Tubritt.
Four minutes later, however, the game was turned on its head. Simon Donohoe played a great ball through to Tubritt on the wing, and he cut inside before placing a return pass to Donohoe, who shot low across keeper Christopher Snow into the corner, giving his side a 1-5 to 0-6 lead.
The sides continued to trade points but an Eoin Donnolly point in additional time helped Fermanagh to a 0-10 to 1-6 interval lead.
When Wexford went two points clear with efforts from Tubritt and Brosnan within five minutes of the restart it looked as if they were about to assume control.
But Fermanagh were still mounting dangerous attacks as Ryan Jones saw an effort rebound off the crossbar before Corrigan's 41st-minute free had brought the sides level again.
Despite having midfielder Richard O'Callaghan black carded on 45 minutes, Fermanagh seized the initiative.
With centre-forward Jones dropping back to assumed total control of midfield and with Corrigan kicking some wonderful points both from play and frees, the northerners stormed into a 0-17 to 1-9 lead with eight minutes left.
Although Wexford managed to reduce the deficit with points from Tubritt and substitute Shane Roche, Fermanagh kicked on again, with another Corrigan free and Richard Breen's point sending them through with plenty to spare.
Scorers - Fermanagh: T Corrigan 0-9 (5f), S Quigley 0-4 (2f), A Breen, E Donnelly 0-2 each, B Mulrone, R Corrigan 0-1 each. Wexford: S Donohoe 1-0, D Shanley 0-4f, J Tubritt 0-3, B Brosnan 0-2, K O'Grady, S Roche 0-1 each.
Fermanagh: C Snow; M Jones, C Cullen, M O'Brien; D McCusker, J McMahon, A Breen; E Donnelly, R O'Callaghan; B Mulrone, R Jones, P McCusker; R Corrigan, S Quigley, T Corrigan. Subs: C McManus for Jones (ht); C Flaherty for O'Callaghan (B.C. 45); J Duffy for McCusker (58); D Kelly for D McCusker (72).
Wexford: A Masterson; J Rossiter, N Rossiter, J Wadding; B Malone, S Byrne, S Donohoe; C Kehoe, D Waters; K O'Grady, A Flynn, E Nolan; D Shanley, B Brosnan, J Tubritt. Subs: P J Banville for yrne (46); K Butler for Flynn (50); S Roche for Shanley (58); R Tierney for O'Grady (62); P Murphy for Masterson (62).
Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).
Sunday Indo Sport