Cork supporters protest as Rebels down Fermanagh

Cork 0-10 Fermanagh 0-7,

Cork 0-10 Fermanagh 0-7,

There was no getting away from the Cork hurling crisis at Pairc Ui Chaoimh this afternoon with supporters of the Cork 2008 hurling panel making their presence felt as the footballers carved out a National League win over Fermanagh.

Disgruntled fans held up signs saying 'Ignored by the Board' and 'We want our hurlers back', they chanted 'Rebels! Rebels! Rebels!' and 'Murphy out, Murphy out!' in a reference to Cork County Secretary Frank Murphy's handling of the long-running impasse between last year's hurling panel and manager Gerald McCarthy.

Many of the fans present in the uncovered stand had gathered at Kennedy Park, an hour before the throw-in to stage a protest march and show their support for the striking players.

A crowd of just over 1,700 watched Conor Counihan's football side pull clear of Fermanagh in the second half and make it two wins out of three in this year's league.

While it took some time for the action on the pitch to provide the main focus, Donnacha O'Connor proved to be the match winner for Cork.

He opened the game with two points from play, helped by a strong wind, and added another on the quarter-hour as the Rebels moved into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead.

Fermanagh, who brought Michael Jones, Shane McDermott and Mark Little in their side as three late changes, opened their scoring account through midfielder James Sherry and tomm McElroy.

The Ulstermen trailed by 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time and Cork, turning into the elements, were not yet assured of victory.

They lost Alan O'Connor to a yellow card but managed to score the opening three points of the second half, with Daniel Goulding (free), substitute Paul Kerrigan and O'Connor finding the posts.

On a whole, the quality of football on show was poor and both sides were guilty of passing and shooting errors and poor decision making.

The backdrop of the protesting supporters did not help but when Cork knuckled down to the task at hand, they were well worth the win.

O'Connor finished with a five-point tally and an over from John Hayes completed the hosts' haul, while Fermanagh substitute Daryl Keenan caught the eye with a late brace.

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