Fermanagh 1-14 Roscommon 0-16: Sean Quigley kicked the winner for Fermanagh three minutes into added time, but Roscommon will wonder for quite some time how they coughed up a five-point lead with five minutes left.

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Fermanagh finish with a flourish to stun Roscommon

Fermanagh 1-14 Roscommon 0-16: Sean Quigley kicked the winner for Fermanagh three minutes into added time, but Roscommon will wonder for quite some time how they coughed up a five-point lead with five minutes left.

Fermanagh finish with a flourish to stun Roscommon

John Evans’ side had looked to have picked up a second qualifier win to work their way into the last dozen of the Championship, but they were left shell-shocked after this Fermanagh fightback.

Ultan Harney put five between the teams in the 65th minute, but the final kick from Fermanagh was unstoppable.

Even in the third minute of injury-time a home win looked unlikely, but Tomas Corrigan levelled the game with 30 seconds remaining with a brilliant sideline kick from the right. And from the restart Fermanagh won possession, fired it straight into Sean Quigley and the powerful full-forward pointed the winner.

It was the first time that Fermanagh led in the game and it was desperately tough on John Evans’ troops, but the home manager, Pete McGrath, was delighted with the character his side showed.

“I said to the lads that there was a few things that would win the game for us. It was mobility, pace, supporting each other, driving at them and having the courage, energy and intent to keep going. I told them that if we did all of that we would win the game,” said McGrath.

“We had nine wides in the first half and we coughed up at least six or seven easy possessions going forward.

“I thought for long periods of the first half we had more possession that they had but they were a bit more clinical. “We had to just reset and make sure we didn’t do that again, we just had to go out and go at these guys.”

It was ironic that Quigley kicked the winning score after the shocking first half he endured. Much was expected from the powerful man after he kicked 14 points in last week’s triumph over Antrim, but yesterday he kicked six wides before the break and one free as his side trailed 0-9 to 0-4 at the interval.

Cathal Cregg was the fulcrum of the Roscommon attack and he kicked four points, but too often he cut a lone figure up front as the Rossies were sluggish in possession and often failed to break out of defence fast enough to catch out Fermanagh.

Considering Roscommon led by six points on three different occasions and by five with as many minutes remaining Evans will wonder how they failed to hold out for the win.

“We are absolutely gutted. We certainly didn’t see that coming in the last four or five minutes,” said Evans.

“They kicked unbelievable points there towards the end, from the sideline and there were calls going against us that we thought we should have got. That is what happens, that is why the home venue is so, so, so important.”

Despite seeing his side trail by five at the interval, McGrath was confident of turning things round on the restart.

Quigley was poor before the break and looked down and out, but he displayed huge courage to slot the 57th minute penalty that got his side right back in the game. After that he drilled over a 45 and ultimately proved the injury-time hero, and McGrath paid tribute to his bravery.

“Sean was struggling with his game in the first half but in fairness to him, the penalty, the 45 and then the winner. After a torrid time he still had that mental resilience and strength to pull himself together and get those critical scores,” said McGrath.

“Then Tomás Corrigan’s effort from the sideline and the other frees he took - he has ice cold nerves.

“That’s what all teams need. Men that can step up and take their pressure, take the free, take the score and get us over the line,” said McGrath.

Scorers for Fermanagh:

S Quigley 1-3 (1-0pen, 1f, 1’45), T Corrigan 0-5 (2f, 1sl), N Cassidy 0-2, B Mulrone 0-1, R Corrigan 0-1, R Jones 0-1, D Kelly 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon:

D Shine 0-5 (4f), C Cregg 0-4, C Murtagh 0-3 (3f), U Harney 0-3, K Higgins 0-1.

Fermanagh:

T Treacy; M Jones, T Daly, N Cassidy; M O'Brien, R McCluskey, J McMahon; E Donnelly, R O'Callaghan; D McCusker, P McCusker, B Mulrone; T Corrigan, S Quigley, R Jones.

Subs for Fermanagh:

R Corrigan for D McCusker (h-t), C Cullen for Daly (46 mins), C Jones for P McCusker (52), D Kelly for Cassidy (61 BC).

Roscommon:

D O'Malley; S McDermott, N Collins, D Murray; N Daly, D Keenan, C Cafferky; D Shine, K Higgins; R Daly, I Kilbride, C Cregg; U Harney, E Smith, C Murtagh.

Subs for Roscommon :

R Stack for Kilbride (h-t), N Carty for R Daly (46), D Smith for Murtagh (59), C Connolly for E Smith (65), B Murtagh for Cafferky (67), M Finneran for Harney (71).

Referee:

Cormac Reilly (Meath).

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