Quigley condemns Cavan to first-round defeat

NFL Round 1

Fermanagh 0-15

Cavan 0-14

Paul Fitzpatrick at Brewster Park

Fermanagh edged a real dogfight to take both points in this opening round NFL clash in Enniskillen.

This was typical local derby fare throughout; Cavan led by a point at the first water break and at half-time, the teams were level at the second water break but at the long whistle, the Erne men had a point to spare.

Good football was at a premium, as was to be expected after the long lay-off, but Fermanagh were just about the better side and carved out the only two goal chances of the contest. And in Sean Quigley, whose ball-striking was sublime at times, they had the stand-out performer on show.

Cavan debutant Patrick Lynch kicked the first three points – two frees and a well-taken left-footed effort from play – with Quigley matching him at the other end, two of his frees coming from outside the 45.

Fermanagh set up defensively and looked to break at speed and from one such counter, Conor Love nudged them in front. A Conor Smith point for Cavan, after Martin Reilly won a long ball, was cancelled out by a 50-metre Quigley free but Cavan levelled through Lynch, after youngster Caoimhan McGovern showed good pace, and a Ray Galligan free made it 0-6 to 0-5 at the break.

By then, Cavan had lost influential midfielder James Smith to a straight red card but the numbers were evened up early in the second half when James McMahon was handed a second yellow.

McGovern, who grew into the contest well, sent over but the lively Ciaran Corrigan replied with a fisted point at the other end and Quigley levelled it seven minutes after the restart.

A super score from McGovern was followed by a well-taken effort from Daragh McGurn as the attritional battle continued. Gearoid McKiernan knocked over a free but Corrigan tied the teams for the sixth point, creating and finishing well.

Fermanagh had two poor wides just before the water break and although Quigley converted another free, when Eoin Donnelly struck the butt of the post with a glorious goal chance, it appeared Fermanagh may have kicked it away.

Cavan woke up and tied the game with a good score from Conor Brady but Fermanagh came again with a beautiful score from that man Quigley.

Cavan kept trying but kept making mistakes, too; sub Conor Madden fired over but Corrigan slotted over his third to make it 0-12 to 0-11.

Another 50-metre free from Quigley opened a two-point gap. Cavan replied with a McKiernan free but Quigley raised another white flag from a soft free at the other end.

Cavan pushed hard late on but all they could muster was two more close-range McKiernan frees, either side of another Corrigan point, fisted over after Galligan saved bravely from Aidan Breen.

Cavan: Raymond Galligan (0-1f), Killian Clarke, Padraig Faulkner, Conor Brady (0-1), Ciaran Brady, Oisin Kiernan, Luke Fortune, James Smith, Killian Brady, Conor Smith (0-1), Gearoid McKiernan (0-4f), Martin Reilly, Oisin Brady, Patrick Lynch (0-4, 2f), Caoimhan McGovern (0-2)

Subs: Stephen Murray for C Smith, Conor Madden (0-1) for O Brady (ht), Jason McLoughlin for K Clarke (43), Michael Argue for Lynch (22), Chris Conroy for S Murray (27), Oisin Pierson for McGovern (62)

Fermanagh: Chris Snow, Cian McManus, Jonny Cassidy, Luke Flanagan, Kane Connor, James McMahon, Kevin McDonnell, Eoin Donnelly, Stephen McGullion, Ciaran Corrigan (0-4), Tiarnan Bogue, Josh Largo-Ellis, Conor Love (0-1), Daragh McGurn (0-1), Sean Quigley (0-9, 8f)

Subs: Declan McCusker for McManus (35 mins), Sean Cassidy for C Love (48), Aidan Breen for McGurn (57), Brandon Horan for McGullion (59), Richard O’Callaghan for McDonnell (70)

Ref: Martin McNally (Monaghan)

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