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Antrim boss hails character of players

Antrim 2-9 Fermanagh 1-12

By Declan Bogue

At the end of a feisty encounter, which finished level, Antrim coach Frank Dawson paid tribute to the efforts of his players against Peter Canavan's Fermanagh at Casement Park.

"There is tremendous character within these boys – at no stage did they think the game was away on them," he said.

"Maybe people in the stand weren't expecting it but it wasn't surprising to me."

That may sound like Dawson was relieved to get a draw, but it was Fermanagh who scrambled a late equaliser after a superb goal from Sean McVeigh had put the Saffrons in front with only 12 minutes remaining.

Kevin Niblock's major was enough to tie matters at half time.

At the start of the second period, Fermanagh's Paul Ward had the ball in the net only for the score to be ruled out.

Three minutes later, a high ball goalward by Sean Quigley was claimed by Antrim goalkeeper Chris Kerr before it was punched out of his grasp to the net by the onrushing Daryl Keenan.

It looked like Fermanagh might dash for the line at that point, but McVeigh's goal, along with three points from substitute Ryan Murray, helped split the dividends.

Antrim: C Kerr; K O'Boyle, P Doherty, N Delargy; T Scullion, J Crozier, A McClean; M McCann, S McVeigh (1-1); C Murray (0-1), K Niblock (1-1), B Herron; P Cunningham, M Pollock, T McCann (0-3, 3f). Subs: S Finch for Doherty (23m), R Murray (0-3, 1f) for Pollock, M Herron for Cunningham (44), C Duffin for McCann (61)

Fermanagh: C Snow; N Bogue, A McGuinness, J Woods; M O'Brien (0-1), B Cox, D McCusker; M McGrath, S Lyons; T McElroy (0-3), S McCabe, E Donnelly (0-1); P Ward (0-3, 1f), D Keenan (1-0), S Quigley (0-3, 1x'45', 1f). Subs: C Quigley (0-1) for Cox (50), T Corrigan for McGrath (59)

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

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