GAA: Erne wide boys give game away; Cavan 2-12 Fermanagh 1-11.
FIERY Fermanagh were left to rue a disastrous nine minute spell immediately after half-time as they exited this year's McKenna Cup competition after a high-octane clash at Kingscourt.
The visitors pushed the self-destruct button with four woeful wides, having corner-back Declan O'Reilly dismissed and conceding a soft goal which turned the match on its head.
The still managerless Ernesiders had been the better team up to that point with man-of-the match Ciaran Donnelly converting a 27th minute penalty to put his side into a 1-6 to 0-4 lead.
Things could have been even worse for Cavan at that juncture had 'keeper Elliott not dived full-length to block a Donnelly shot in the 18th minute and tip away the loose ball in the follow-up ahead of the in-rushing Stephen Maguire.
Played at a cracking tempo, the first half was a typically see-saw affair with the teams level on no less than five separate occasions.
However once Cavan's Jason Reilly goaled in the 19th minute to help hoist his side onto level terms at the interval, 1-7 to 1-7, a wind of change suddenly swept across the proceedings.
The dismissal of Fermanagh's O'Reilly in the 44th minute and a Sean Brady goal for Cavan 50 seconds later heralded a major transformation in the game as Cavan leaped into the lead.
CAVAN: Eoghan Elliott; Gerry Sheridan, Darren Rabbitt, Eamon O'Reilly; Karl Crotty, Trevor Crowe, Sean Smith; Pearse McKenna, Anthony Forde (0-1); Larry Reilly (0-1), John Tierney (0-1), Sean Brady (1-1); Jason Reilly (1-2), Sean Maguire, Gerald Pierson (0-6). Subs: Thomas Prior, Cathal Collins, Paul Brady, Mark McKeever, Andrew Coleman.
FERMANAGH: Dermot Feely; Raymond Johnston, Barry Carty, Declan O'Reilly; Peter Sherry, Shane Lyons, Damien Kelly (0-1); Shane McDermott, James Sherry (0-1); Ciaran Boyle, Ciaran Donnelly (1-7, three frees), Ryan Keenan (0-2); Stephen Maguire, Kevin Coyle, Brendan McBrien. Subs: Martin O'Reilly, Gary Maguire.
DONNELLY: Great game
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jan 12, 2004|
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