Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

McGrath leaves soccer players out in the cold

Fermanagh 2-13 Sligo 1-07

Big Impact: Sean Quigley was outstanding performer

Fermanagh picked up their first competitive win of the season with a well deserved six-point victory over Sligo.

Pete McGrath's men played some excellent football, particularly in a dominant second half.

And while there was plenty of incident on the pitch the drama started for the Fermanagh manager on the car journey to the Lakelands when he found out Seamus Quigley, the team's outstanding performer in the McKenna Cup, and Niall Cassidy had played soccer earlier in the day.

Both players had been named as substitutes but were subsequently left off the panel leaving McGrath a little stunned by the entire episode.

"The boys know the situation now and they will tow the line," was the Down man's verdict.

Expanding on his decision McGrath added: "This only came to light as I was coming down the road to Enniskillen tonight and the decision was made and it was very easy to make," he added.

"The two players were told that because they played soccer they would not be a part of the panel tonight and further to that I said that anyone on this squad who wants to stay in this squad can have no involvement with soccer.

"This is inter county senior football. You can't be ambivalent, you can't be dabbling in other things that will interfere. The choice is clear. The choice is very clear."

But while one Quigley brother got his knuckles rapped another was to light up the night with a fantastic scoring performance. Sean Quigley, operating at full forward scored 1-8 as he helped inspire Fermanagh to a much needed victory.

Quigley was part of a dangerous home full forward line with Tomas Corrigan and Eamon Maguire also catching the eye.

Fermanagh had hit the game's first goal when Sean Quigley rose highest to punch home at the back post but the visitors were finding holes at the other end and Adrian Marren in particular looked sharp, hitting four points in the opening half.

Ryan Jones plundered a second goal for the Erne men when he rumbled through the middle to take a slip pass before rifling home but with the very next attack Sligo had their own goal when Mark Breheny finished well to give them a one point lead at the break.

The second half was to be all Fermanagh, however with Quigley and Corrigan proving far too hot to handle for the Sligo defence.

Fermanagh: C Snow, J Woods, T Daly, M O'Brien, D McCusker, R McCluskey, B Mulrone, R O'Callaghan (0-1), E Donnelly, C Cullen, R Jones L Cullen (0-1), E Maguire (0-1), S Quigley (1-8, 0-6f), T Corrigan (0-0). Subs: T McMelroy for Mulrone (24), A Breen for O'Brien (39), E Courtney for Maguire (64).

Sligo: A Devaney (0-2, 0-1 45' 0-1f), R Donavan, M Quinn, K Cawley, C Harrison, N Ewing, G Ryan, J Kilcullen (0-1), C Griffin, P Hughes, M Breheny (1-2, 0-0f), J Quinn, A Marren (0-5, 0-3f), D Kelly, S Coen. Subs: D O'Boyle for J Quinn (38), K McDonald for Coen (43), N Murphy for D Kelly (53).

Yellow cards: K Cawley (25), B Kilcullen (37). Red cards: B Kilcullen (41), K Cawley (63).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

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