'Sloppy' Fermanagh are made to sweat
Fermangh 1-16 Derry 3-8
Leading by 11 points with 38 minutes on the clock Fermanagh were cruising to victory but two Derry goals in as many minutes made a contest of this game and with the Oak Leafers dominating the last quarter, the Erne men were relieved to hold on for a win to maintain their 100pc record.
Fermanagh had started the game in whirlwind fashion with Seamus Quigley, in fine form in the first half, hitting 1-6 of his side's 1-12.
Derry were able to just about stay in touch with a goal before the break from Emmett Bradley and when Mark Lynch and James Kielt struck for goals two and three the belief of the visitors was palpable.
For Fermanagh boss Rory Gallagher, there was a real frustration at the manner of the three Derry goals.
"We played really, really well in the first half. We were cruising. And then we gave away a very sloppy goal and I think sloppiness just set in with six or seven minutes to go to half-time," he said.
"We gave away two desperate goals in the second half. In fact, all three goals, switching off from a quick free for the first, a high ball punched into the square for the second and then a misplaced pass for the third."
Derry boss Damian McErlean said: "The goals and a few points kept us within a very long touching distance. We got in at half-time and we spoke about where we were and looked within ourselves. In the second half we were a totally different team. Just putting the bodies on the line, winning breaks, tracking back, winning balls we shouldn't have been winning. So that was encouraging."
Scorers - Fermanagh: S Quigley 1-8 (6f, 1 45'); B Mulrone, A Breen, C Corrigan, C Jones, E Donnelly, D McCusker, C McManus, P McCusker 0-1 each.
Derry: M Lynch 1-3 (3f); J Kielt 1-2 (2f); E Bradley 1-0; E Lynn, T O'Brien, P MacGrogan 0-1 each.
Fermanagh - P Cadden 5; M Jones 7, C Cullen 6, C McManus 7; B Mulrone 6, C McGee 6, D McCusker 7; E Donnelly 7, R Jones 6; P McCusker 6, C Corrigan 8, A Breen 7; D Teague 6, C Jones 6, S Quigley 8. Subs: R Corrigan 6 for Teague (BC, h-t), L Cullen 6 for Magee (54), T Corrigan 6 for Quigley (58), R McCluskey 6 for P McCusker (58), S Quigley 6 for C Jones (64), R Lyons 6 for Breen (71).
Derry - B McKinless 7; M McEvoy 6, K Johnston 7, J Curran 6; M Bateson 6, C McWilliams 7, C Doherty 6; C McAtamney 6, E Bradley 6; P Mac Grogan 6, E Lynn 8, J Kielt 7; M Lynch 7, T O'Brien 6, N Toner 6. Subs: D Tallon 7 for E Bradley (h-t), C McCluskey 6 for Curran (37), B Herron 6 for Doherty (49), P Hagan 6 for Bateson (55).
REF - P Hughes (Armagh)