Fermanagh 3-10 Westmeath 1-15
It should never have come down to it, but a John Woods injury time point snatched a deserved victory for Fermanagh over Westmeath.
Peter Canavan won’t have been happy that they left it so late as 20 wides, in comparison to eight for Westmeath, kept the Lakesiders in touch when they should have been dead and buried.
Fermanagh kicked 12 of their wides in the first half but crucially bagged two goals to lead 2-5 to 0-7 at the break.
Denis Glennon had a point on the board from the opening attack for the home team but Seán Quigley equalised from a free and followed up with two excellent scores from play.
Conor Quigley goaled in the 13th minute, although it was more by accident than design, as his shot from distance flew all the net as his brother pressurised Gary Connaughton.
Westmeath kicked three of the next four points but their defence was being breached all too easily and Damian Kelly was found in oceans of space before finishing calmly to the corner of the net in the 25th minute.
Denis Corroon and John Heslin did kick points but Tomás Corrigan ended a run of wides for Fermanagh to leave the margin at four at half time.
It looked like the momentum had switched Westmeath’s way when Chris Snow tripped Denis Glennon 10 minutes into the second half and Heslin slotted the resultant penalty to the net to bring the sides level.
Dessie Dolan’s introduction excited the home supporters further and Ger Egan, who was much more prominent after the restart, put them ahead.
But it was Fermanagh that found another level, Ryan Jones locating oceans of space to run into before blasting an outstanding 48th minute goal.
Fermanagh soon went five points clear but Callum McCormack, Denis Corroon and John Heslin dragged Westmeath back into it, despite the 63rd minute dismissal of Kieran Martin for a second yellow card.
McCormack ballooned over when it looked easier to goal but made up for it with an equalising point after a strong shoulder by Corroon forced a turnover.
There was still time for Fermanagh though and John Woods stormed forward in the second minute of injury time to snatch the victory
Scorers –Fermanagh: S Quigley 0-6(4fs); D Kelly 1-1; C Quigley, R Jones 1-0 each; T Corrigan 0-2, J Woods 0-1
Westmeath: J Heslin 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4fs); D Corroon, C McCormack (1 45) 0-3 each; D Glennon, G Egan 0-2 each
Fermanagh: C Snow, J Woods, B Cox, D Kelly, D McCusker, R McCluskey, M O’Brien, E Donnelly, M McGrath, T McElroy, S McCabe, R Jones, T Corrigan, S Quigley, C Quigley. Subs: R Corrigan for C Quigley (ht); D Kille for R Corrigan (55); B Owens for McGrath (66); P Ward for T Corrigan (66); S Lyons for O’Brien (66-70)
Westmeath: G Connaughton, M McCallon, K Gavin, K Maguire; J Gaffey, P Sharry, J Dolan, J Heslin, D Duffy, K Martin, C McCormack, D Corroon, G Egan, L Smith, D Glennon. Subs: D Dolan for Smith (46); C Curley for Duffy (68)
Referee: R Hickey (Clare)