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Fermanagh 1-11 1-9 Derry

Fermanagh's Mark Murphy with James Conway of Derry
Mark Murphy attempts to dispossess James Conway

Derry (1-5) 1-9
Goal: E Bradley
Points: McIver, E Bradley, P Bradley 3, Gilligan 2, Wilkinson 2

Fermanagh (0-6) 1-11
Goal: Owens
Points: Keenan 4, C McElroy, Kelly, McBarron, Little, McGrath, Maguire 2

Barry Owens made a fairytale return after heart surgery to help Fermanagh seal a place in the Ulster Championship final for the first time since 1982.

Owens staged his inter-county comeback as a sub and scored the goal with proved the difference as the Erne man upset the odds in spectacular fashion.

Derry lead 1-4 to 0-1 in the early stages but then had a Conleth Gilligan penalty saved by Ronan Gallagher.

Peter Sherry was red-carded late on but Fermanagh saw off Derry's late rally.

At the final whistle there was a sea of green and white as Fermanagh fans flocked on to the Healy Park pitch to celebrate their long-awaited victory.

It was a success which had looked unlikely in the first half.

Fermanagh had registered the first score through a Ryan Keenan free but Derry then took over to score a goal and four points without reply.

Eoin Bradley netted a fine left-foot shot in the 12th minute after taking Barry McGoldrick's pass and leaving defender Peter Sherry in his wake.

The Oak Leafers had a second goal chance but Conleth Gilligan's saw his penalty saved by goalkeeper Ronan Gallagher after Martin McGrath's foul on Niall McCusker.

Mark Lynch fights for possession against Fermanagh captain Martin McGrath
Mark Lynch comes under pressure from Martin McGrath

That put Derry 1-4 to a point ahead but Fermanagh showed their grit by producing four unanswered points through Tommy McElroy, Damien Kelly, Liam McBarron and another Keenan free.

Paddy Bradley and Keenan exchanged frees to leave Derry 1-5 to 0-6 ahead at the interval.

The second half belonged to the Erne county as they ended their 26-year wait to reach a provincial final.

Mark Little registered the first point after the break while Paddy Bradley chalked up another free for Derry.

Then came drama as two-time All Star Owens was introduced as a substitute and scored a 54th-minute goal with his first touch.

That put Fermanagh into the lead for the first time since the third minute and further scores from captain McGrath, Eamon Maguire and Keenan saw then storm into a four-point lead.

Fermanagh had defender Sherry sent-off for a second yellow card but they saw off a late Derry rally with Shane Goal making a superb block as Paddy Bradley went for goal.


Derry: B Gillis; K McGuckin, K McCloy, F McEldowney; G O'Kane, N McCusker, M McIver; J Conway, J Diver; M Lynch, P Murphy, E Muldoon; C Gilligan, P Bradley, E Bradley.

Fermanagh: R Gallagher, S Goan, S McDermott, P Sherry, D Kelly, R McCluskey, T McElroy, M McGrath (c), M Murphy, C McElroy, J Sherry, R Keenan, E Maguire, L McBarron, M Little.



2008 ANGLO-CELT CUP

Preliminary round

First round

Semi-finals

Final

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see also
Fitness key to victory - O'Rourke
21 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland
Erne delight
21 Jun 08 |  Photo Galleries


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