Thursday 22 February 2018

The game at A glance

Man of the match: Conor Laverty (Down), His only score was the 57th-minute goal that sealed Down's victory, but Laverty made countless scores for others and proved a real handful throughout.

Turning point

Daryl Keenan's sending-off in the ninth minute. Going a man down is never easy but losing him so early quickly killed off whatever hope Fermanagh had of pulling off a shock.

Talking point

Seamus Quigley's late, late introduction. It was rumoured he'd been dropped for disciplinary reasons but Peter Canavan denied this and said it was because he was injured.

Magic moment

Laverty's goal. He's only 5'9" and actually fell while trying to out-field his marker yet somehow got up, jumped clear of him and then sold the 'keeper a dummy before coolly slotting it home.

Ref watch

Syl Doyle was up with the play and worked well with his officials but he seemed to miss a lot of third-man and 'blocking' tackles, especially in the first half.

What they said

James McCartan (Down manager):

"Anyone who wins an Ulster championship match is happy, no matter how ugly it is and it was probably ugly at times there today. I'm not blaming Fermanagh for that, we defend in numbers too."

Peter Canavan (Fermanagh manager):

"Daryl (Keenan) hasn't been booked the whole way through the national league. He's a very honest and clean footballer and he says he was sent off in the wrong, that he didn't strike."

Match statistics

Wides: Down 11 (6 first half); Fermanagh 8 (3).

Frees: Down 13 (8); Fermanagh 23 (11).

Yellow Cards: Down 1 (Garvey 58); Fermanagh 4 (Kelly 36, McGrath 36, Kille 41, Lyons 65).

Red Cards: Down 0; Fermanagh 1 (Keenan 9).

Attendance: 12,435.

What next?

Down play Monaghan on June 24 and Fermanagh go into first round of the qualifiers on June 30.

Irish Independent

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