Monday 18 June 2018

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Watch: Eoin Donnelly's late goal sends Fermanagh to a first Ulster final since 2008 and Monaghan to the qualifiers

Fermanagh 1-8 Monaghan 0-10

James McMahon celebrates at the final whistle of the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Fermanagh and Monaghan at Healy Park in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
James McMahon celebrates at the final whistle of the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Fermanagh and Monaghan at Healy Park in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Fermanagh and Monaghan at Healy Park in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Eoin Donnelly was the Fermanagh hero with his injury-time goal the decisive score as Rory Gallagher's men dumped red-hot favourites Monaghan out of the Ulster SFC to book their first provincial decider since 2008.

Donnelly palmed Ryan Jones' delivery to cue joyous scenes for the Ernesiders.

It books an intriguing Ulster final against either Donegal, who Gallagher managed from 2015-2017, or Down on June 24 but defeat spells disaster for Malachy O'Rourke's side, who were roaring hot favourites to prevail and must now face a long road through the qualifiers.

Both sides were feeling each other out in the opening minutes but it was Fermanagh who hit the ground running with the opening three points including two superb points from Aidan Breen, one off either foot.

It was 18 minutes until Monaghan got on the score sheet through a Conor McManus free and with the game being dictated by Gallagher's men, Sean Quigley fired over a brace of frees to put them four ahead after 28 minutes, 0-5 to 0-1.

The Farney men sprung to life in the closing minutes of the half as Karl O'Connell began to make some probing runs from midfield and he was rewarded with a free which McManus converted.

Fintan Kelly whipped over from close range and McManus cut the gap to one in injury time with his third free but Fermanagh had the final say with Conall Jones landing a monstrous point to close out the half, 0-6 to 0-4.

There were only two scores in the opening 20 minutes on the resumption but the Farney men were grinding down Fermanagh and drew level through Ryan McAnespie and a McManus free.

Drew Wylie surged forward to put them ahead for the first time in the 59th minutes but substitute Tomás Corrigan got Fermanagh back level from a free.

Captain Colin Walshe and McManus (free) put them two ahead before Wylie and Corrigan traded scores but it was left to Donnelly to take the spoils for Fermanagh in dramatic circumstances.

SCORERS – Fermanagh: E Donnelly 1-0 S Quigley 0-3f, A Breen 0-2, C Jones 0-1, T Corrign 0-2f

Monaghan: C McManus 0-5f, F Kelly 0-1, R McAnespie 0-1, D Wylie 0-2, C Walshe 0-1

FERMANAGH – P Cadden; K Connor, C Cullen, M Jones; B Mulrone, J McMahon, L Cullen; E Donnelly, R Jones; P McCusker, D McCusker, A Breen; S Quigley, C Jones, C Corrigan.

Subs: D Teague for M Jones (44), R Corrigan for P McCusker (51), T Corrigan for Quigley (56), T Clarke for C Corrigan (60), R Lyons for C Jones (62), C McManus for Breen (65).

MONAGHAN – R Beggan; K Duffy, D Wylie, R Wylie; D Mone, V Corey, F Kelly; K O'Connell, N Kearns; K Hughes, D Hughes, D Ward; R McAnespie, J McCarron, C McManus.

Subs: D Malone for Ward and C McCarthy for McCarron (both 41), C Walshe for Kelly (52), O Duffy for K Hughes (55), C Boyle for Mone (65), S Carey for Corey (black card 73)

REF – C Lane (Cork)

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