Ultan Kelm’s moment of magic seals Fermanagh’s promotion to Division 2

Allianz NFL Division 3 Fermanagh 1-14, Cavan 2-9

Ultan Kelm of Fermanagh celebrates after scoring a goal during their Division 3 match against Cavan at Kingspan Breffni. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Fermanagh ripped up the script at Kingspan Breffni Park to seal promotion and a place in the NFL Division 3 decider.

The omens weren’t good for Fermanagh, though, when, after just 38 seconds, the table-toppers’ Jonathan McCabe palmed the ball to the net after James Smith’s angled effort rebounded off the Fermanagh crossbar.

Fermanagh replied with textbook points from Aidan Breen, Darragh McGurn and Ryan Lyons to draw level after just 11 minutes.

However, the Ernesiders looked vulnerable under the high ball, and in the 22nd minute, Killian Clarke outjumped Fermanagh goalkeeper Seán McNally and McGurn to flick Jack McKenna’s speculative 42-metre effort into the visitors’ net.

Cavan led 2-3 to 0-6 at the break, but the tide turned when Ultan Kelm’s terrific solo goal catapulted Fermanagh into the lead (1-10 to 2-6) for the first time in the 56th minute.

There was no stopping the visitors then and unanswered points from Ryan Jones, Lyons (two) and Kelm between the 63rd and 71st minutes concluded a tasty appetiser for the sides’ meeting in the final this weekend at Croke Park.

Scorers – Fermanagh: U Kelm 1-3; R Lyons 0-4 (2f), R Jones 0-3; D McGurn 0-2; S Quigley (f), A Breen 0-1 each. Cavan: O Brady 0-5 (5f); J McCabe, K Clarke 1-0 each; G McKiernan 0-2 (1f); R O’Neill, R Galligan (45) 0-1 each.

Fermanagh – S McNally 6; L Cullen 7, C Cullen 7, L Flanagan 6; J Cassidy 7, S McGullion 6, C McManus 6; R Jones 7, B Horan 7; J Largo-Ellis 6, R Lyons 7, R McCaffrey 6; U Kelm 8, D McGurn 7, A Breen 6. Subs: C McShea 6 for A Breen (46); S Quigley 6 for R McCaffrey (48); C McGee 6 for D McGurn (66); D McCusker for J Largo-Ellis (70); F O’Brien for L Flanagan (74).

Cavan – R Galligan 6; C Reilly 6, P Faulkner 6, N Carolan 6; C Brady 6, J Smith 7, T Madden 7; J McKenna 6, K Clarke 7; Cian Madden 6, O Brady 7, J McCabe 7 ; G McKiernan 6, B Boylan 6, Conor Madden 6. Subs: S Smith 6 for Cian Madden (h-t); C Smith 6 for J McKenna (46); J McLoughlin 6 for C Reilly (52); R O’Neill 6 for Conor Madden (58); M Reilly for B Boylan (68); K Brady for N Carolan (inj, 71).

Ref – T Murphy (Galway)