Sunday 19 November 2017

Quigley the hero as Rossies are shocked

Fermanagh 1-14 Roscommon 0-16

Sean Quigley celebrates scoring Fermanagh’s winning point in their game against Roscommon
Sean Quigley celebrates scoring Fermanagh’s winning point in their game against Roscommon

Declan Rooney

Roscommon manager John Evans says he'll have to think long and hard about his future with the county after Fermanagh's late heroics knocked them out of the championship.

Five points up with five minutes remaining, Roscommon somehow managed to allow Fermanagh back into the game, and a sideline kick from Tomas Corrigan and the late, late winner from Sean Quigley stunned the Rossies.

Evans' side had looked to have picked up a second qualifier win and worked their way into the last 12 of the competition, but they were left shell-shocked after this Fermanagh fightback.

Ultan Harney put five between the teams in the 65th minute, but the final kick from Fermanagh was unstoppable.


Quigley's point gave the Erne men the lead for the first time in the game and it was desperately tough on Roscommon, and their manager says he'll assess whether to give it another year

"Now I will stand back and have a look at it. I wouldn't agree to anything more than a year last year. I will certainly have a look at the whole package. Now is not the time to make any of those decisions, I will sit down and have a look at it.

"I will talk with my family. And I will look at the progress we have made. Listening to the players in there, they know they have made huge progress. They are so, so delighted that they are where they are.

"It is a journey we are on and along that journey we are going to get hard knocks and by God today was a hard knock," said Evans.

It was ironic Quigley kicked the winning score after the shocking first-half he had put in. Much was expected from the powerful man after he kicked 14 points in last week's triumph over Antrim, but yesterday he kicked six wides before the break and one free as his side trailed 0-9 to 0-4 at the interval.

Cathal Cregg was the fulcrum of the Roscommon attack and he kicked four points throughout, but too often he cut a lone figure up front as the Rossies dallied on possession and often failed to break out of defence fast enough to catch Fermanagh out.

Despite seeing his side trail by five at the interval, Pete McGrath insisted he thought his side could have led at the break, such was their dominance around the middle and their poor form up front.

"I said to the lads that there was a few things that would win the game for us. It was mobility, pace, supporting each other, driving at them and having the courage, energy and intent to keep going. I told them if we did all that, we would win the game," said McGrath.

Quigley looked a shell of the man that destroyed Antrim by half-time, but he displayed huge courage to slot the 57th minute penalty that got his side right back in the game.

After that, he drilled over a 45 and ultimately proved the injury-time hero, with McGrath paying tribute to his bravery after the game.

"Sean was struggling with his game in the first half but in fairness to him, the penalty, the 45 and then the winner.

"After a torrid time he still had that mental resilience and strength to pull himself together and get those critical scores," said McGrath.

"Then Tomas Corrigan from the sideline and the other frees he took, ice cold, ice cold.

"That's what all teams need. Men that can step up and take their pressure, take the free, take the score and get us over the line."

Considering that Roscommon lead by six points on three different occasions and by five with as many minutes remaining, Evans will wonder how they failed to hold out for the win.

"I was just talking to the players there and we are absolutely gutted. We certainly didn't see that coming in the last four or five minutes," said Evans.

"They kicked unbelievable points there towards the end, but that is what happens, that is why the home venue is so, so, so important to the team that gets it."

Scorers - Fermanagh: S Quigley 1-3 (1-0pen, 1f, 1'45), T Corrigan 0-5 (2f, 1sl), N Cassidy 0-2, B Mulrone, R Corrigan, R Jones, D Kelly 0-1. Roscommon: D Shine 0-5 (4f), C Cregg 0-4, C Murtagh (3f), U Harney 0-3, K Higgins 0-1.

Fermanagh - T Treacy 8; M Jones 7, T Daly 7 , N Cassidy 9; M O'Brien 7, R McCluskey 7, J McMahon 8 ; E Donnelly 8, R O'Callaghan 8; D McCusker 7, P McCusker 7 , B Mulrone 7; T Corrigan 8, S Quigley 7, R Jones 7. Subs: R Corrigan 8 for D McCusker (h-t), C Cullen 6 for Daly (46), C Jones 6 for P McCusker (52), D Kelly 7 for Cassidy (61 BC).

Roscommon - D O'Malley 7; S McDermott 8 , N Collins 7, D Murray 7; N Daly 6, D Keenan 7, C Cafferky 6; D Shine 7, K Higgins 7; R Daly 6, I Kilbride 7, C Cregg 8; U Harney 7, E Smith 6, C Murtagh 6. Subs: R Stack 6 for Kilbride (h-t), N Carty 6 for R Daly (46), D Smith 6 for Murtagh (59), C Connolly 6 for E Smith (65), B Murtagh for Cafferky (67), M Finneran for Harney (71).

Ref - Cormac Reilly (Meath).


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