After establishing a 0-6 to 0-2 lead at the interval, the Ulster side looked good for the win but when Darragh Foley reduced the gap to two points Carlow supporters believed they were had a chance to claim victory.
However, in a devastating five-minute spell, former Sydney Swan Brendan Murphy went off with a suspected broken ankle and James Sherry fired in a goal either side of Terry O’Flanagan and Tomas Corrigan points. Mark Little came off the bench, fresh from his All-Ireland intermediate club win the day before, to help Fermanagh see out the game.
T O’Reilly; K Nolan, S Redmond, B Kavanagh; A Curran, T Bolger, P Cashin; B Murphy, D Foley (0-4, 3f); E Finnegan (0-1), S Gannon, A Kelly; C Mullins, JJ Smith (0-1f), T Walsh. Subs: C Pender for Murphy (31, inj), BJ Molloy for Nolan (ht), E Ruth for Gannon (ht), D Bambrick for Finnegan (55), W Minchin for Kelly (67).
J McGrath; N Bogue, B Owens, M Jones; P McCosker, B Mulrone (0-1), P Sharry; H Brady, J Sherry (1-1); P McGrath, N Cassidy, T McElroy; T O’Flanagan (0-3, 2f), T Corrigan (0-2, 1f), P Ward (0-2). Subs: C O’Brien (0-1) for Cassidy (48), K Connolly for McElroy (48), M Little for O’Flanagan (60), C Quigley for P Sherry (63), C Flaherty for McGrath (70).
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)