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SEAN NOT TOO SORE TO SCORE; GAA - LAST NIGHT: CAVAN INTO SEMIS..

Byline: PAUL KEANE

CAVAN 0-13

FERMANAGH 1-9

SEANIE JOHNSTON played through the pain barrier to secure a famous Ulster quarter-final SFC victory for Cavan.

The injured corner-forward hit five points including a late insurance score to book their semi-final place against Donegal or Antrim.

Fermanagh's old failings of missed chances and missed frees in particular came back to haunt them at Breffni Park.

But Cavan weren't lucky winners by any means, and Johnston's spirit summed up their character-laden win.

He was a major doubt beforehand with a hamstring injury that required cryotherapy treatment to allow him to start.

Just 20 minutes into the game he pulled up clutching his hamstring - but played through the pain to finish as top scorer.

His last point was crucial as Fermanagh had fought back from four points down to trail by just one.

But livewire Johnston somehow shook off his man in the left corner and swung a rightfooted kick over with just two minutes left.

Mark Little responded with an injury-time free for Fermanagh but the one-point margin remained.

It was a sensational debut win for Cavan manager Tommy Carr, who now finds himself just 70 minutes from an Ulster final.

Cavan were good value throughout and hit eight points into a stiff first-half breeze.

Johnston hit three of those points, two before his hamstring twinge.

Cavan were already without attackers Mickey Lyng and Jason O'Reilly through injury so Johnston played on.

Fermanagh started with a two-man full-forward line of Ryan Carson, the debutant destroyer of Down in the first round, and Eamonn Maguire. They didn't impress overall but Maguire did net a crucial 12thminute goal that kept them firmly in the game.

Daryl Keenan played a clever quick free down the left and Maguire beat keeper James Reilly in the air to fist to the net.

It was a rare high point for Fermanagh, who went on to hit more first-half wides, six, than points, four.

By half-time Cavan held a slender 0-8 to 1-4 lead but were by far the better team, and Cian Mackey was barely denied their opening goal.

Cavan fans were further boosted when Johnston emerged for the second half and hit a wonderful solo point. Reilly converted back-to-back frees and Cavan's 0-11 to 1-4 reflected their dominance with 48 minutes on the clock.

Fermanagh were clearly rattled and sprung double AllStar Barry Owens into action.

The converted full-forward hadn't played all year due to knee surgery - but famously came off the bench to knock a goal past Derry last summer.

This time he could only muster a solitary point when yet another misdirected Fermanagh free fell his way and he flicked it over the bar.

That score left just one in it with five minutes to go - but Johnston's brilliant solo score proved decisive.

CAPTION(S):

KEPT AT ARM'S LENGTH: Fermanagh's Martin McGrath stretches to intercept a Ray Cullivan kick during yesterday's Breffni Park clash
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jun 7, 2009
Words:488
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