Allianz FL D2: Tipperary and Fermanagh share spoils
Allianz Football League Division 2
TIPPERARY 2-5 FERMANAGH 2-5
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
There was a dramatic finish to this Division 2 clash at Semple Stadium which burst to life in the closing stages as the lead changed hands three times in the dying moments.
In the end it was Tipperary, who led for most of the encounter, who had to come from behind to snatch a draw.
Liam McGrath kept his nerve to secure their first point of the campaign when he landed with a free from 40 metres in the fourth minute of injury-time.
Tipp looked set for their first win of the campaign when Brian Fox pounced for his second goal late in the game.
But Fermanagh, who drew their opening game with Cork, hit back with a goal from a penalty from Sean Quigley to edge back in front before McGrath kept is nerve to salvage a draw at the death.
Tipperary led by 1-1 to 0-2 at half-time in front of a crowd of 667 supporters at Semple Stadium.
The decisive score of the half came after six minutes when a shot from Fox dropped short but Fermanagh goalkeeper Thomas Treacy fumbled it and the ball dribbled over the line for the opening score.
Fermanagh shot seven wides to Tipperary’s five in the opening half with Quigley kicking four of them, three from placed balls.
Midfielder Ryan Jones got Fermanagh’s opening point after 13 minutes and Quigley added a free eleven minutes later.
Fermanagh goalkeeper Treacy did well to deny Liam Boland before wing-back Kevin Fahey increased Tipperary’s lead four minutes before the break to lead by two at half-time.
The tempo of the game increased after the restart with Quigley, with a free, and Philip Austin exchanging points.
Liam Casey pushed Tipp three clear after a good intercept and run from wing-back Jimmy Feehan after 45 minutes to lead by 1-3 to 0-3.
Fermanagh drew level after 58 minutes with a neat finish to the net by Conall Jones after being set up by Ultan Kelm.
Conor Sweeney edged Tipp back in front before Quigley levelled superbly from the right wing with five minutes left.
Ciaran Corrigan put Fermanagh in front before Fox struck for his second goal as the game slipped into stoppage time.
But Quigley hit back with a goal from a penalty after a foot-block to edge Fermanagh back in front.
However, there was time for a final twist as McGrath kept his nerve to land an equaliser in the dying seconds.
Scorers for Tipperary: Brian Fox 2-0, Kevin Fahey 0-1, Liam Casey 0-1, Philip Austin 0-1, Conor Sweeney 0-1 (1f), Liam McGrath 0-1 (1f).
Scorers for Fermanagh: Sean Quigley 1-3 (1 pen, 2f), Conall Jones 1-0, Ryan Jones 0-1, Ciaran Corrigan 0-1.
TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney; Kevin Fahey, Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey; Liam Boland, Liam McGrath, Brian Fox; Philip Austin, Conor Sweeney, Jack Kennedy Subs: Conal Kennedy for Emmett Moloney (36), Kevin O’Halloran for Liam Boland (51), Dan O’Meara for Philip Austin (58), Michael O’Reilly for Evan Comerford (69), Paddy Codd for Jimmy Feehan (72).
FERMANAGH: Thomas Treacy; Jonny Cassidy, Tiarnan Daly, Lee Cullen; Kane Connor, Declan McCusker, James McMahon; Eoin Donnelly, Ryan Jones; Shane McGullion, Conall Jones, Aidan Breen; Daniel Teague, Sean Quigley, Ciaran Corrigan Subs: Paul McCusker for Shane McGullion (31), Ryan Lyons for Tiarnan Daly (36), Garvan Jones for Daniel Teague (40), Ultan Kelm for Declan McCusker (53), Daragh McGurn for James McMahon (57).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).