Fermanagh slipped to their second National Football League division two defeat when losing to Cork in absolutely treacherous conditions at Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday.
The game was overshadowed by a protest march of some 2,000 fans in support of the striking 08 hurlers.
They were there to voice their considerable anger at the county board for the continuing impasse over Gerald McCarthy’s controversial selection as team manager.
Fermanagh played their best football in the first-half, even though they were playing against the howling wind and were well placed at 0-5 to 0-4 adrift at the interval.
Indeed, but for a brilliant goal-line clearance from full-back Noel O’Donovan, who denied Seamus Ryder in the 23rd minute, Fermanagh’s position would have been even brighter by the interval break.
Points from James Sherry, Tommy McElroy and two from Shane O’Brien still left the visitors in a strong position, but their challenge faded on the resumption.
Cork returned a far more purposeful outfit and three points without reply from Daniel Goulding, Paul Kerrigan and Donncha O’Connor stretched their advantage to 0-8 to 0-4.
But from there Fermanagh could only score three times in the second-half through an O’Brien free and a couple of points from impressive substitute Daryl Keenan.
And it took a spectacular dive by corner-back Hugh Brady to somehow keep out Paul O’Flynn’s goal-bound shot in the 58th minute to keep Fermanagh from falling further behind.
Cork: A Quirke; M Shields, N O'Donovan (0-1), A Lynch; N O'Leary, G Canty, captain, P Kissane; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; C McCarthy (0-1), F Goold, N Murphy; D Goulding (0-1 free), M Cussen, D O'Connor (0-5, 1 free, 1'45). Sub: P O'Flynn for O'Connor yellow card 19 mins, P Kerrigan (0-1) for Goold half-time, J Hayes (0-1) for Murphy injured 44 mins, K O’Sullivan for Goulding 52 mins, G Spillane for Kissane 57 mins
Fermanagh: R Gallagher; S Goan, M Jones, H Brady; T McElroy (0-1), S McDermott, P Johnston; M McGrath, J Sherry (0-1); C McElroy, R Keenan, S O'Brien (0-3, 2 frees); E Maguire, S Ryder, M Little. Subs: D Kille for Ryder half-time, R Foy for Johnston 46 mins, D Keenan (0-2) for R Keenan 49 mins, R Carson for C McElroy 54 mins, D Kelly for T McElroy 55 mins, N Bogue for Jones yellow card 69 mins
Referee: M Condon (Waterford).