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Fermanagh boss Peter McGrath draws plenty of comfort

Armagh 1-10 Fermanagh 1-10

By John Campbell

The broad smile on the face of Fermanagh manager Peter McGrath at the end of this frenetic Allianz Football League Division Three showdown at the Athletic Grounds said it all.

The former Down All-Ireland winning boss has enjoyed his share of red-letter days in a distinguished career, but while the stakes may have been modest on this occasion, the satisfaction with a job well done was palpable.

And, indeed, Rostrevor native McGrath had good reason for exuding a contented glow.

His team, having played second fiddle for most of the first-half during which they were behind by 1-6 to 0-1 at one stage, summoned on previously latent reserves of character, courage and skill to salvage a precious point in their ongoing quest for promotion.

"We knew it was going to be tough coming to Armagh but I thought the boys showed tremendous work-rate, especially as the game progressed," said McGrath.

Armagh had led by 1-7 to 1-3 at the break, Micheal McKenna's fine goal having been cancelled out by an even more spectacular effort from Ruairi Corrigan.

While the home side relied on the free-taking of Ethan Rafferty as their prime source of points, Fermanagh looked to Sean Quigley's accuracy to keep them afloat.

Orchard County boss Kieran McGeeney said: "We missed five or six chances.

"People tend to take their foot off the pedal at times but apart from those misses I thought the boys did well."

In the last five minutes, Fermanagh whisked over three points and it was the last of these from Ryan Jones that secured the all-important league point that could yet prove their passport to a higher sporting plateau.

ARMAGH: N Geoghegan; M McConville, C Vernon, M Murray 0-2; C McKeever, F Moriarty, A Mallon; A Findon, P Carragher; J Clarke, M McKenna 1-1, A Forker 0-1; T Kernan, E Rafferty 0-5 (4f), A Murnin. Subs: E McVerry 0-1 for Murnin (h/t), S Harold for Carragher (53), C Rafferty for Findon (62), S Forker for A Forker (66).

Yellow cards: Clarke (17), Findon (42), E Rafferty (36), A Forker (36).

FERMANAGH: T Tracey; M Jones, T Daly, M O'Brien; D McCusker, R McCluskey, J McMahon; E Donnelly 0-1, R O'Callaghan; P McCusker, R Jones 0-2, B Mulrone; T Corrigan 0-1, S Quigley 0-6 (4f), R Corrigan 1-0. Subs: C Flaherty for P McCussker (43), N Cassidy for McMahon (50), C Jones for O'Callaghan (62), A Breen for T Corrigan (69)

Yellow Cards: McCluskey (48), Cassidy (53)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).

Belfast Telegraph


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