Fermanagh 3-16 Sligo 1-17
By Robbie Dunne
Fermanagh won the Lory Meagher cup for the first time thanks to a five-point win over Sligo despite finishing the game with 12 men at Croke Park.
Sligo got off to the better start and led by 0-09 to 0-02 after 20 minutes thanks to some fine shooting from Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch, who landed 0-5 in the first half.
But Fermanagh's Sean Corrigan scored a goal in the 21st minute after an exceptional run by Ciaran Corrigan to breathe life back into his side.
Sligo were still in control but Fermanagh were not done and landed two more goals from Declan McGarry before the referee blew for half-time with the score standing at 3-05 to 0-12.
Fermanagh started the second half with a spring in their step and pushed their lead out to five with the help from some excellent movement inside by Sean Corrigan (0-2) coupled with Declan McGarry's involvement in their attack.
The game seemed set to take a turn in Sligo's favour on 44 minutes when the first of three red cards were handed out to John Duffy of Fermanagh.
Ciaran Brennan landed a goal for Sligo to reduce the deficit to three with 12 minutes to play but Fermanagh were not to be outdone on the day and dug deep to give captain John Paul McGarry the chance to lift the Lory Meagher cup for the first time.
They were reduced further when Karl Kehoe and David Teague were dismissed in the latter stages of the game as the winners finished with twelve men.
Fermanagh will now face Louth for a place in next year's Nicky Rackard Cup next year.
Fermanagh: M Curry; D Teague, M Teague, E Mahon; K Kehoe, M Slevin, B Duffy; J Duffy (0-03 2f), D Teague; JP McGarry (0-01), D McGarry (2-03, 1 '65, 1f), A Breslin; S Corrigan (1-03), B MacLaughlin (0-05), C Corrigan (0-01).
Substitutes: F Barron for E Mahon (25), D Curran for D Teague (70).
Sligo: S Hayes; T Brennan, M Davey, R Redmond; E McGowan, J Kenny, A Morrison; N Hyland (0-01), G O'Kelly-Lynch (0-05 2f); B McMahon, D Fahy, K Redmond (0-09 9f); G Cadden (0-01), C Brennan (1-0), G Waldron (0-01).
Substitutes: P Leonard for D Fahy (31), F Keown for R Redmond (39), N Cadden for G Cadden (56).
Referee: J Keane (Galway).