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Local hopes over as Fermanagh make Lory Meagher Cup exit

 

By Declan Bogue

Ulster hopes are over for another year in the Lory Meagher Cup as Fermanagh went down to Sligo in Markievicz Park on Saturday on a 5-14 to 2-13 scoreline.

It represents a disappointing season for Sean Duffy's Ernemen, who simply took far too long to get going in this game.

After 40 minutes, they had a mere 0-8 on the scoreboard to Sligo's 5-12.

Despite a late scoring splurge, they had left themselves with too much to do, having been 2-10 to 0-5 down at the break.

However, there will be an Ulster twang on the pitch in the Lory Meagher Cup final with former Antrim All Star nominee Liam Watson now in the white of Warwickshire.

They booked their ticket to the final with a 2-16 to 1-11 win over Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Meanwhile, the other game involving an Ulster side saw Cavan in a surprisingly close-fought encounter with Lancashire in Old Bedians, Manchester.

In their first year back in competitive action, the Breffni men have suffered heavy defeats but were narrowly pipped on a scoreline of 0-24 to 1-18.

They could not cope with the scoring power of Ronan Crowley, who notched an impressive tally of 0-21 in the tie.

In the Ulster special Under-17 Championship semi-finals on Sunday, Cavan overcame a game Antrim challenge, their knack of finding the net crucial in a 5-11 to 2-11 victory.

Antrim's star was St Brigid's rising ace Ruairi Brolly - son of RTÉ pundit and Derry 1993 All-Ireland winner Joe - with eight points through a mixture of efforts from play and the dead ball.

Cavan were able to nail major scores from Seanie Keogan and Shane Hanley early on and were never to lose their dominance.

It was another son of a former great who was the difference in the other semi-final as Tyrone overcame Down by 0-15 to 0-11.

Darragh Canavan - son of Peter - top scored with a quintet of points for the Red Hands. They will now face Cavan in the decider on Sunday, June 11 as the curtain-raiser when Cavan take on either Fermanagh or Monaghan in the senior Championship.

In yesterday's Lidl Ladies National Football League Division Two final replay, Leona Archibold scored 1-6 and claimed the player of the match award as Westmeath saw off Cavan by 13 points.

Westmeath, who were Division Two runners-up both last year and in 2014, finally gained promotion to the top flight, capping a remarkable rise in recent years.

The Lake County were Division Four winners in 2011, claimed Division Three honours a year later and are now preparing for Division One fare next year.

In a surprisingly one-sided rematch at St Brendan's Park in Birr, Westmeath scored all but one point of their big tally from play.

Cavan struggled to reproduce the kind of football that saw them go close to victory in the drawn match at Parnell Park.

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