By Coilín Duffy
Fermanagh 0-19 Wexford 1-11
Fermanagh staged a strong fourth quarter, as they claimed a five-point victory away from home at Innovate Wexford Park this evening.
Pete McGrath’s charges held Wexford to just four second half points, as the Erne County booked their place in the next round, with Tomás Corrigan impressive, top-scoring with nine points.
The game was delayed by 15 minutes as the Fermanagh team bus got held up in traffic heading to the grounds, but Fermanagh weren’t slow getting off the blocks.
The visitors led by 0-4 to 0-1 after eight minutes, with Sean Quigley firing three of their opening scores, with Tomas Corrigan adding the other from a free.
Donal Shanley added Wexford’s first score in eight minutes to cut the gap to two points.
The first clear-cut goal chance of the tie fell to Sean Quigley in the 11th minute, but the powerful Fermanagh players effort came off the crossbar, before Tomas Corrigan and Shanley traded scores.
Fermanagh kept on top for the remainder of the opening quarto, with a fine point from Aiden Breen handing them a 0-6 to 0-3 lead after 17 minutes.
However, Wexford responded strongly with Shanley’s fourth point, before a John Turbitt score cut the gap to the minute after 21 minutes.
The hosts eventually cut through for a goal chance of their own which they capitalised on, with wing half back Simon Donohue popping up to fire the ball to the net past Fermanagh keeper Chris Snow, and hand Wexford the lead for the first time.
1-5 to 0-6 ahead after 22 minutes, Wexford looked good, but Fermanagh fought back to take the lead with three unanswered scores.
Quigley cut the gap to the minimum, before Barry Mulrone equalised in the 28th minute.
A well drilled score from Tomás Corrigan saw Fermanagh regain the lead, with his third point of the night.
Wexford bounced back on the stroke of injury time with a fine score from Ben Brosnan, ensuring the sides were level for the third time.
However, Fermanagh took the lead at the interval, with a fine kick from Eoin Donnelly handing them a 0-10 to 1-6 half-time lead.
It looked good for Wexford in the opening stages of the second half as scores from John Turbitt and Brosnan put them ahead early on the restart.
But Tomás Corrigan was in fine scoring form, and a brace of quick points handed his side the lead.
The sides were level yet again following a Kevin O’Grady point, but the loss of Richard O’Callaghan to a black card threatened to derail Fermanagh’s hopes.
However, the travelling Fermanagh faithful need not have worried as the Ernemen once again came good.
McGrath’s men brought a strong pace to this game, worthy of its Championship billing, with the Corrigan brothers impressive, among a strong Fermanagh attack, that caused huge problems for the Wexford defence.
Tomás and Ruairí Corrigan were both on target as Fermanagh built up a 0-15 to 1-9 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
Wexford were struggling hugely for scores, with Fermanagh taking a five-point cushion, before Turbitt broke the deadlock.
Shane Roche followed up with another score in the 67th minute, but Fermanagh finished strongly in the six minutes of injury-time that followed, with scores from Tomás Corrigan and Aidan Breen late on.
The 2015 All-Ireland quarter-finalists march on, earning a place in Monday’s All-Ireland Round 2 qualifier draw.