ENNISKILLEN GAELS COMPLETE THE DOUBLE WITH UNIMPRESSIVE LEAGUE FINAL VICTORY
Enniskillen Gaels 1-8
Derrygonnelly Harps 1-6
Enniskillen Gaels completed the double at Irvinestown on Sunday when they had an unimpressive marginal victory over Derrygonnelly in the Reihill-McKeown sponsored League Final.
This closely-contested match should provide a warning for the Gaels, in particular their forwards, when the meet Ballerin the Derry champions, at the same venue next Sunday in the Club Championship.
The finishing power of the forward line was meagre, to say the least, and in a struggling second half they only managed to score three points.
It was indeed a close call for Enniskillen, who started firm favourites, but Derrygonnelly almost upset the odds when in a late rally they pulled back a goal, to leave a margin of two points between the sides.
It was also a hard-tackling match, which was well handed by referee Tommy Johnston and he had no option but to book a total of four players, two from each side.
“MAN OF THE MATCH”
The Reihill McKeown trophy for the man-of-the-match presented by Mr Phil Corrigan, area representative went to the sound Enniskillen full-back, Niall Corrigan, who marshalled his defence well throughout the hour and whose determination and fielding was a treat to watch.
Both sides took time to settle down, and although it was Enniskillen who looked the more dangerous side with a series of attacks, their shooting was pathetic, and it was against the run of play that Derrygonnelly opened the scoring. After John Murphy had fouled Derrygonnellys Pat McGurn, Tony Gallagher made no mistake with his 21-yard free.
Enniskillen continued to launch attack after attack and they were rewarded for their attacking football when Fr. Terry McElvaney pointed, a Jackie Keenan cross. At this stage Jimmy Cleary and Sean Sheridan were dominating the midfield sector and paving the way for their forwards. But the young Derrygonnelly defence, with Marius Cassidy in particular, held firm and contained the Enniskillen danger men, Irvine and McVitty well.
DERRYGONNELLY RESUME LEAD
For Derrygonnelly, Tony Gallagher and Hughie Kelly were trying hard and it was a Gallagher pass to Frank Cassidy, who after brushing off strong tackles, held his feet to send a fierce shot over the bar off the crossbar, that resumed Derrygonnellys lead. Enniskillen were denied another scoring chance when a shot from Cornyn was cleared by a defender off the line, but in the follow-up, Aidan Lunny intercepted the clearance and his pass to Cleary led to a fine 14-yard run before the county player pointed.
Minutes later, Enniskillen took the lead for the first time when Lunny pointed a free from a narrow angle, after Cornyn was fouled. Derrygonnellys forward line were disappointing and could not make an impression against Corrigan and Gabriel McShea, who came storming out of defence with the ball time after time.
In one of the best movements of the game, Cleary increased his side’s lead after a one-two with Jackie Keenan.
INTO COMMANDING POSITION
Tony Gallagher, with another free, and Clive Irvine exchanged points, before Irvine sent Enniskillen into a commanding position when he punched home a goal. The movement started when Gerry Burns intercepted a Derrygonnelly attack in his own half, and his pass to Father McElvaney was subsequently floated into the Derrygonnelly area, and Irvine out jumped the small defence to deflect the ball into the net.
Just before half-time: Pat McGurns shot was deflected over the bar for a point by Enniskillen’s Keeper.
Prior to that Irvine was booked for showing dissent.
Trailing 1-3 to 0-4 at half-time, Derrygonnelly emerged with an attacking attitude and changed the whole pattern of play for the first quarter. Corrigan and McShea denied the Derrygonnelly forwards on three occasions before Joe Dundas opened the scoring with a point. The standard of play deteriorated and it led to fierce tackling. After Gerry Dooris was booked for a foul on Corrigan, he was replaced by Seamus Gallagher. Then within two minutes, Irvine and substitute Frank Roofe pointed to give Enniskillen a five-point lead.
NEW LIFE INTO ATTACK
But the inclusion of Seamus Gallagher injected new life to a disappointing Derrygonnelly attack and in the 20th minute he forced a “50” kick after a scramble in the Gaels goalmouth.
From the resultant Tony Gallagher kick his brother, Seamus, soared above the defence to punch the ball against the Enniskillen post and into the net. This caused some controversy but referee Johnston was emphatic in his ruling.
With only two points separating the sides, Derrygonnelly came to life and although they launched several attacks they failed to score.
DECISIVE SCORE FOR GAELS
A quick breakaway by Cleary revealed weaknesses in the Derrygonnelly backline, and Cleary’s through pass to Clive Irvine was blasted over the bar. This was the decisive score for the Gaels.
Derrygonnelly inspired by Gallagher and Fee attempted a late rally but their only reward was a solitary point from a Tony Gallagher free.
In the second half, John Murphy and Donal Fee were booked by referee Johnston for fouls.
Scorers – Enniskillen Gaels – C Irvine 1-3, J Cleary (0-2), Fr McElvaney, A Lunny and F Roofe (0-1 each).
Derrygonnelly – S Gallagher (1-0), T Gallagher (0-3), F Cassidy, P McGurn and J Dundas (0-1 each).
Enniskillen Gaels – Phil Sheridan, Gerry Connolly, Niall Corrigan, Gabriel McShea, Gerry Burns, John Murphy, Paul Hughes, Sean Sheridan, Jimmy Cleary, Jackie Keenan, Fr. Terry McElvaney, Aidan Lunny, Marty Cornyn, Clive Irvine and Bertie McVitty. Sub – Frankie Roofe for Cornyn.
Derrygonnelly – Gerald Greene, Seamus O’Dare, Marius Cassidy, Anthony Murphy, Donal Fee, Patsy Burns, Phil Murphy, Pat McGurn, Tony Gallagher, Frank Cassidy, Hughie Kelly, Gerald Dundas, Sean Jones, Gerry Dooris and Dermott Gaffney. Subs – Aidan Carroll for O’Dare and S Gallagher for Dooris