Fermanagh too much quality for diligent students
Fermanagh 1-13 Queen's Univ 0-09
Fermanagh ran out comfortable winners against a Queen's team that while trying manfully just did not have enough quality to compete with a competitive and committed Erne side.
Pete McGrath has made no secret of the fact that he wants to qualify for the semi final of the McKenna Cup and his side played like a team who have winning on their agenda.
"This year we have a lot more work done than we had last year. We have more of a handle on where we want to go and how we want to play so the Derry game is a very important game for us in terms of moving us forward," McGrath said.
The Down man was "more than happy" with how his four debutants played and had particular praise for James Allen in defence.
"Full back is always a hairy position and I thought for a young fella making his first competitive start he did very well," he commented.
Sean Quigley hit 1-5 with 1-1 coming from open play as the big Roslea man took plenty of watching but Gerard McGovern stuck to his task well and should be pleased with his performance.
Where Queen's were weakest was that middle tract of the pitch where Fermanagh, time and again, sliced through and, indeed, the home side should have had two goals with Ryan Lyons and Aidan Breen hitting the crossbar and post respectively in the first half.
Quigley did find the net with time almost up in the first half when he rose highest to fist into the net and that goal and a point from Paul McCusker just before knocked the stuffing out of Queens.
The students had got the game back to a single point before those two late scores but in the second half Fermanagh continued to show their dominance, outscoring Queens 0-7 to 0-4 with Queens kicking the last score right on the full time whistle.
Ruairi Corrigan was excellent throughout for Fermanagh at centre half forward while Barry Mulrone was the best player on the pitch.
Ryan Murray had his moments in attack for the students as did Sean Warnock but there appears to be a lot of work ahead for the Queens boss James McCartan if his side are to make Sigerson weekend.
McCartan was honest in his appraisal after the game.
"We have to be realistic. We have a hard working bunch of players and getting to the weekend will be an achievement for us.
"We don't have the Railway Cup teams that some of the other universities have."
Fermanagh scorers: S Quigley 1-05 (0-04f), B Mulrone (0-02), P McCusker (0-02), R Jones (0-01), A Breen (0-01), C Flaherty (0-01), R Corrigan (0-01).
Queen's: R Murray 0-03 (0-02f), T Donnelly 0-02, C Hamill 0-01, C O'Hanlon 0-01, R McGrady 0-01, C Warnock 0-01
FERMANAGH: C Snow; M Jones, J Allen, B Mulrone; D McCusker, R McCluskey, J McMahon; R Jones, C Jones; A Breen, R Corrigan, P McCusker; R Lyons, S Quigley, E McManus.Subs: C Flaherty for Lyons (46), D McQuade for McManus (50), R O'Callaghan for P McCusker (63), D Kille for R Corrigan (63), S McManus for C Jones (68)
Yellow Cards: R Jones 26, B Mulrone 47, J Duffy for A Breen (57)
QUEEN'S: M. Cunningham; B. Burns, G. McGovern, N. Delarghy; M. Donaghy, R. Wells, C. Hamill; S. Warnock, C. Cullen; M. Monan, C. O'Hanlon, C. Daley; R. Murray, D. Hughes, T. Donnelly. Subs: G McCabe for Donaghy (HT), R McGrady for Cullen (45), P Quinn for Burns (50), C McCartan for Hamill (56), J Downey for Warnock (60), M McCann for Monan (61)
Yellow Cards: M Monan 31
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)