Ultan Kelm celebrates the second half goal that helped power Fermanagh to a promotion-clinching win over their neighbours from Cavan.
Ultan Kelm celebrates the second half goal that helped power Fermanagh to a promotion-clinching win over their neighbours from Cavan.

Allianz FL D3: Fermanagh secure promotion

Allianz League Division Three Results


DOWN 1-19 OFFALY 0-9



Despite conceding two early goals, Fermanagh got the win they needed at Kingspan Breffni Park this afternoon to ensure that they secured top spot in Division Three of the Allianz Football League, meaning they will play Cavan yet again next week in this year's league final, and they will join their neighbours in the top two Divisions of the League in 2024.

While some Erne County supporters would have had one eye on events in Tullamore, the equation was incredibly simple for Kieran Donnelly’s charges – a win or a draw would have kept them ahead of Offaly, regardless of the result in Leinster.

They certainly played like the side that needed the win, but even so, trailed by 2-3 to 0-6 at half-time, largely due to two hugely fortuitous Cavan goals.

Jonny McCabe put his named on the first, palming the ball to the net after a shot from James Smith crashed back into play off the post, but this was soon cancelled out by good scores from Aidan Breen, Daragh McGurn and Ronan McCaffrey.

They were rocked back again when Killian Clarke got a slight touch to a Jack McKenna shot that dropped short, flicking it the Fermanagh net, and a wonderful Ray Galligan save to deny Ultan Kelm ensured the home side were still ahead at the break.

Two Gearóid McKiernan points pushed the lead out to five, but points from Ryan Jones and Kelm put the result right back in the melting pot, and there was no mistaking which side was the more motivated or tuned in during the closing stages.

A goal from a narrow angle from Kelm in the 57th minute nudged Fermanagh in front for the first time in the contest and while Cavan stayed in the game late on through points from Oisín Brady, Ray Galligan and Ryan O’Neill, Fermanagh always looked like they would pick up the win they needed.

As it turned out, they would have gone up either way, as Offaly never really raised gallop in their clash with Down at Glenisk O’Connor Park.

The first half was competitive enough, and while Down were full value for their 0-9 to 0-6 lead, the Faithful County were well in the game, with Cian Donohoe and Bernard Allen scoring good points from play, while Nigel Dunne struck three good frees.

However Down always looked to pose a much greater attacking threat, and the signs were there that they had the potential to cut loose. Ryan Johnston and Pat Havern kicked some excellent points and Liam Kerr drew a fine save from Ian Duffy in the Offaly goal, and once the second half started, it was one-way traffic.

Liam Kerr found the net after 44 minutes and Down tacked on the next six points without reply, with substitute Conor McCrickard giving manager Conor Laverty food for thought with three points from play for the Mourne men.

At Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, weather forced the clash of Longford and Antrim to be put back to this afternoon, and the home side gave themselves some measure of consolation at the end of a difficult league season when they overcame Antrim by five points.

Keelin McGann found the net as Longford raced into an early 1-5 to 0-0 lead, but a couple of goals in quick succession from Colm McLarnon and Ruairi McCann meant they had to set about their work all over again. They did so in fine style to lead by 1-13 to 2-4 at the break, with Daire O’Brien making a particularly strong impact at full forward, picking off four points.

Darragh Doherty goaled for Longford early in the second half to stretch their lead further, but a Patrick McCormack goal and points from Patrick McBride and Odhrán Eastwood cut the gap to three yet again, before McGann’s second goal wrapped up Longford’s first win in seven starts, since their O’Byrne Cup final victory.

Tipperary did end the season without a win, though they caused Westmeath some problems at TEG Cusack Park, particularly in the second quarter, when they went from 0-3 to no score behind to going in level at the break, three points apiece. A second yellow card for Anthony McGivney just before half-time was a further blow to Westmeath, but they settled into the contest after half time and three excellent points from centre back Ronan Wallace, as well as a Lorcan Dolan goal that was set up with precision by Luke Loughlin, ensured they cruised to victory.