Revenge tastes sweet for Ernesiders
Fermanagh 1-15 Louth 2-08
Fermanagh will be playing Nicky Rackard Cup hurling next year after a fully deserved four-point victory over Louth at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday.
The sides had met earlier in the year in the league with Louth dishing out a 20-point hammering but it was a much more confident Erne side that took the field for this meeting.
Fermanagh captured the Lory Meagher Cup with a victory over Sligo just seven days earlier but if anything this was a more impressive performance.
With heroes all over the pitch it was perhaps Daniel Teague who stood out among the rest. The midfielder was switched into full forward after 25 minutes and proceeded to terrorise the Louth defence racking up 1-03 and getting fouled for a number of frees.
His goal came just moments after Louth had pulled the game back to four points with 1-01 of their own, Gerard Smyth with both scores, the goal coming from a penalty. Smyth did score another major from a rasping 21-yard free kick but with time almost up Fermanagh held out for the win.
Speaking after the game joint manager Seamus McCusker expressed his pride in the players.
"Last week we got the cake in the shape of the Lory Meagher Cup and this week we wanted the icing," he said.
There was a feeling going into the game that perhaps Fermanagh would find it difficult to lift themselves after the highs of their victory in Croke Park last week but the Erne side were the one who hit the ground running, taking an eight-point advantage into the break.
"We had a good opening period and we actually got through for three goals but their keeper was magnificent today.
"It was more difficult to get through for those chances than it was in Croke Park but I still think we created a lot," McCusker said after the game, adding that the change since the two sides met in the league has been down to the hard work the players have put in.
"Louth beat us by 20 points in the league in February. I said at the time that we would be a different team later on in the year. But it was a huge turnaround for us coming from where we were in the league to where we are now."
Fermanagh: M Curry, D Teague, M Teague, F Bannon, K Kehoe (0-01), M Slevin, B Duffy, J Duffy (0-03f), D Teague (1-03, 0-01f), T Cleary (0-01), K McGarry (0-03, 0-01p), A Breslin, S Corrigan (0-01), D McGarry (0-01), C Corrigan (0-02): Subs: S Curran for Cleary (43), JP McGarrry on for Breslin (62), C Rice for C Corrigan (70)
Louth: A Carter, E McKeown, S Callan, R McKeown, N Cafferkey, B Carter, C Ryan, J Condon, D O'Hanrahan, L Dwan, G Smyth (2-05, 1-05f 1-00p), A Mackin (0-02), G Kane, S Connelly, P Lynch (0-01): Subs; N Stanley for Dwan (17), C Kerrigan for R McKeown (27), C O'Reilly for Lynch (56), D Yore for Cafferkey (61).