Fermanagh have advanced to the last eight of the Bank of Ireland football championship after a thrilling extra-time duel saw them beat Donegal on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-12 in Clones today.
The game opened well for Donegal. Although Brendan Devenney had a penalty claim turned down when he appeared to have been clearly fouled in the square, he put the disappointment behind him to pop over for Donegal's first score, quickly followed by scores from Adrian Sweeney and Michael Hegarty.
However, Fermanagh replied with a fine individual point from Colm Bradley and, after a break from midfield, a stunning goal from Eamon Maguire to put the Erne men one point ahead on a scoreline of 1-01 to 0-03.
The sides then traded points with Colm Bradley making it a two point lead for Fermanagh before Hegarty pinned them back, followed by a Stephen Maguire free for Fermanagh which was cancelled out by Devenney.
Just before half time Stephen Maguire inched Fermanagh into a two point lead again only to see John Gildea hit over a fine point to leave it at just one point going into the break on a scoreline of 0-06 1-04.
The second half opened in much the same manner with two Fermanagh points, coming from Martin McGrath and Stephen Maguire, cancelled out by Devenney and Brian Roper leaving the score at 1-06 to 0-08 in favour of Fermanagh.
Then Donegal went on a scoring spree with Toye, Adrian Sweeney and Roper bucking the trend to put Donegal into a clear lead of two points. However, although they were in control on the pitch, certain Donegal players did not show the same level of control. Brian Roper narrowly avoided a red card after a violent challenge on a Fermanagh man while Brendan Devenney, sent off for a second booking, pushed referee Jimmy McQuillan to ground, risking a 12-month ban.
With the score at 0-11 to 1-07 and less than ten minutes to go, Shane McDermott and Martin McGrath step up for Fermanagh to level and send the game into extra time.
Stephen Maguire put Fermanagh ahead for the first time since early in the second half and further misery was heaped on Donegal, who had just been restored to 15-men, when Stephen McDermott was shown a red card for his second bookable offence.
Tom Brewster added to Fermanagh's lead before Colm McFadden cancelled it out, leaving the score at 0-12 1-10 in favour of Fermanagh at the end of the first period of extra-time.
Although there would be plenty of action in the second period of extra-time – Sweeney missed a simple free to level for Donegal, a Paul Durcan save from a Mark Little shot at goal which would have sealed it for Fermanagh and another simple free missed by Michael Hegarty – not another score would be taken as Fermanagh held on to earn their quarter-final berth.
Filed by Barry J Whyte