Galway set for winner-takes-all clash

Galway 0-15 Fermanagh 0-15: Galway’s bid to return to the top flight after five years will come down to a winner-takes-all clash away to Cavan next Sunday after they drew their third match in a row.
Galway set for winner-takes-all clash

For Galway manager Kevin Walsh, the run of draws highlighted the competitive nature of Division 2. He is content to still be in the hunt to end their exile. “It’s not a bad position to be. Even before today, relegation was gone out the window. Over the years, that has been an issue for Galway heading into the last game.

“It’s a nice place to be, albeit the performance really has to be upped. I suppose we’d have taken it at the start of the year, but we know we need to improve, there needs to be more consistency.”

Galway, who have never lost to Fermanagh in senior football, led 0-7 to 0-6 at the break, having played against the diagonal wind.

Fermanagh corner-back Niall Cassidy was sent-off six minutes after the re-start for a challenge on Johnny Heaney, with points from Damien Comer and Gary Sice extending the lead to a goal.

But Fermanagh never gave up and the point could prove decisive to their survival.

“Fermanagh fought on with the 14 men. We retreated too much,” said Walsh. “That wasn’t part of the plan. We started to play a bit safe and that’s probably what cost us in the end.

“In fairness Fermanagh went at us, albeit I thought they went down quite easy and got a few handy frees for themselves.”

Tomas Corrigan, Sean Quigley, and Ryan Jones were to the fore in the second half as Fermanagh got back into contention, with good scores from Corrigan and Quigley helping them draw level.

Galway hit 13 wides to Fermanagh’s four, but pulled away through subs Danny Cummins and Patrick Sweeney. Fermanagh battled to the end and, after Corrigan pointed a free, sub Declan McCusker levelled in the third minute of injury time.

“In this league, to get anything away from home is always a good result,” said Fermanagh manager McGrath.

“To dig out a point against a very good Galway team. I think we have to be pleased and we’ll look forward to our final game against Tyrone next Sunday.”

Scorers for Galway:

D Comer (0-4, 1f); G Sice (0-3, 2f); S Walsh, P Sweeney (0-2 each); E Hoare(f), A Varley, E Brannigan, D Cummins (0-1 each).

Scorers for Fermanagh:

T Corrigan (0-7, 5f); S Quigley (0-3, 2f); R Lyons, R Jones (0-2 each); D McCusker 0-1.

GALWAY:

M Breathnach; C Sweeney, D Kyne, D Wynne; L Silke, G O’Donnell, J Heaney; F Ó Curraoin, P Conroy; G Sice, S Walsh, T Flynn; D Comer, A Varley, E Hoare.

Subs:

D Cummins for Walsh (h-t), P Sweeney for Varley (46), E Brannigan for Hoare (55), G Bradshaw for Heaney (59), S Denvir for Ó Curraoin (59).

FERMANAGH:

C Snow; N Cassidy, C Cullen, M Jones; A Breen, R McCluskey, J McMahon; E Donnelly, D Kelly; B Mulrone, R Lyons, R Jones; T Corrigan, S Quigley, R Corrigan.

Subs:

M O’Brien for Breen (34, BC), C Flaherty for M Jones (h-t), D McCusker for McMahon (49), P McCusker for R Corrigan (49), C Jones for Lyons (65), K Connor for Donnelly (70, BC).

Referee:

Jerome Henry (Mayo).

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