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Flanagan ends Fermanagh resistance

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Fergal Flanagan, Cavan

Fergal Flanagan, Cavan

Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Terry Hyland, Cavan manager

Terry Hyland, Cavan manager

Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

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Fergal Flanagan, Cavan

Cavan opened their account at Kingspan Breffni Park with the minimum of fuss.

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They were especially dominant in the first half and held a 0-10 to 0-4 advantage at the break.

Fermanagh never gave up the ghost though and it took a 62nd-minute goal from Cavan's Fergal Flanagan to finally put the issue to bed. Cavan had signalled their intent from the get-go by opening the scoring after 13 seconds courtesy of a David Givney point.

Thereafter, a hat-trick of unanswered points from target-man Eugene Keating had the home side 0-6 to 0-2 ahead after 18 minutes.

Things almost got much worse for the visitors two minutes later but a last-ditch tackle by Declan McCusker prevented Cian Mackey from goaling after a slide-rule pass from Keating.

It wasn't until the 32nd minute that Fermanagh scored their only point from play in the first half through Tomas Corrigan as the hosts' lack of a goal threat provided hope for the Ernesiders.

Cavan seemed to rest on their laurels though and when Corrigan converted yet another free on 52 minutes, the visitors were suddenly just a single score adrift, 0-9 to 0-12.

Ryan Jones' slick point (58) reduced Cavan's lead to just two points, but Fermanagh's hopes of redemption went west eight minutes from time when captain Eoin Donnelly tried to fist the ball back to his 'keeper, only for Flanagan to rob him and goal from point-blank range.

Scorers – Cavan: E Keating 0-6, F Flanagan 1-0, D Givney, M Reilly (3 '45's) 0-3 each. Fermanagh: T Corrigan 0-7 (6fs); E Maguire 0-2, L Cullen, R Jones 0-1 each.

Cavan – C Gilsenan 7; J Hayes 7, R Dunne 8, K Brady 7; J McEnroe 6, A Clarke 6, F Flanagan 8; D Givney 8, T Mooney 6; C Mackey 6, M Lyng 6, M Reilly 7; N McDermott 6, K Tierney 6, E Keating 9. Subs: K Clarke 5 for Mooney (54),N Smith 5 for McEnroe (55), M Dunne 5 for Mackey (59), M Argue 5 for Tierney (63), N Murray 6 for Reilly (67).

Fermanagh – C Snow 7; J Woods 6, C Cullen 6, M O'Brien 7; D McCusker 6, R McCluskey 6, T Daly 6; E Donnelly 6, R O'Callaghan 6; L Cullen 7 , R Jones 7, C Jones 6; P McCusker 6, N Cassidy 5, T Corrigan 8 . Subs: S McElrone 6 for Cassidy (41, BC), E Maguire 8 for C Jones (46), T McElroy 6 for O'Callaghan (57, BC), E Courtney for McCluskey 6 (58, BC), R Ormsby for McCusker 6 (63).

Ref – E Kinsella (Laois)

Irish Independent