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Fermanagh 0-13 Derry 2-08: Derry oust hosts Fermanagh but both sides face the drop


By Colm Bradley

Fermanagh and Derry will both play in Division Three next year with a Carlus McWilliams point in the fifth minute of injury time securing the win for the visitors.

Failing to win sealed Fermanagh's fate while an equalising point for Down against Cork condemned Derry to the drop.

James Kielt saw red for Derry in injury time after an incident involving Fermanagh's Paddy Rehill that saw the latter receive a black card.

The Kilrea man will now miss their championship opener with Tyrone.

The visitors outscored Fermanagh 1-03 to 0-01 in the final 18 minutes of the game.

They had control of the match when four points up with 22 minutes played of the second half but failed to drive on and when Conor McAtamney crashed home his second goal to tie things up all the momentum was with the Derry men.

McAtamney had raised a green flag inside the first 16 seconds of the game. Derry won the throw in and the midfielder ghosted in behind the defence and gobbled up a neat flick from Emmett McGuckin in the Fermanagh square to hammer home.

Sean Quigley was the scorer in chief for the home side with accurate place kicking.

He hit five first half placed balls with Barry Mulrone and Eoin Donnelly contributing scores from play. At the other end Derry were finding it hard to break down a more resolute home defence where Ryan McCluskey was sweeping in front of the full back line.

Enda Lynn and Benny Herron split the posts with Niall Loughlin registering a point from a free.

The teams were all square entering the final minute of the first half when a brilliant Fermanagh move involving McCluskey and Declan McCusker released Lee Cullen one on one but as he rounded the keeper Danny Heavron got back to make a lass ditch tackle.

Quigley pinged over the resultant 45' to send the home side in one point ahead.

On the resumption it was Pete McGrath's side who were the more authoritative and they opened up with two quick scores, the first a Quigley free followed up by a beauty with the outside of the foot from Declan McCusker.

Keilt, who had been introduced at the start of the second half, shot a free in reply before Paul McCusker fisted a point at the other end. Kielt was causing plenty of bother in the Erne defence and he stroked over a fine score form play but it was still Fermanagh who were looking the more likely winners.

Declan McCusker added another cracking effort from play with Quigley adding a point from a free to stretch the lead to four but this was as good as it got for the home side.

Another Kielt free put just a goal in the game and for the next nine minutes there was stalemate before McAtameny hit his second three-pointer.

Lynn kicked a score on the turn to put Derry ahead and although Quigley equalised with another free McWilliams had the last say to secure the win for the visitors.

Fermanagh: T. Treacy; M. Jones, C. Cullen, K. Connor; D. McCusker (0-02), R. McCluskey, A. Breen; E. Donnelly (0-01), L. Cullen; P. McCusker (0-01), R. Jones, B. Mulrone (0-01); E. Courtney, S. Quigley (0-08), D. Keenan. Subs: J McMahon for P McCusker 45, R Lyons for Keenan 56, C Murphy for Breen 60, T McCaffrey for Courtney 62, P Reihill for D McCusker 67. A Breen for Reihill 70.

Derry: T. Mallon; K. McKaigue, B. Rodgers, C. Nevin; N. Forester, C. McKaigue, D. Heavron; C. McAtamney (2-00), P. Cassidy; E. Lynn (0-02), E. McGuckin, C. McWilliams (0-01); D. Tallon, N. McLoughlin (0-01), B. Herron (0-01). Subs: J Keilt (0-03) for Tallon HT, R Bell for Herron (50) , M Lynch for McGuckin (50), G O'Neill for Haveron 61.

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

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