No one around Emmet Park would pretend that their return to top flight football this year has been particularly enjoyable.
They rounded off the league season second from bottom and have the prospect of fighting for their division 1 status ahead of them in the autumn.
Sunday was a different matter though, an opportunity to put the travails of the league behind them and chase down some silverware in an intermediate competition which holds happy memories for them.
They travelled to Brewster Park as warm favourites against a Derrylin side which has had almost as hard a time in division 2 as ‘Skea endured in division 1.
Championship is championship though and it was only near the end when Lisnaskea managed to put meaningful daylight between the sides, the class of Daniel Kille shining through.
“Look, everybody was writing Derrylin off from the word go, but we knew they were going to put it up to us,” said Lisnaskea boss Kevin O’Rourke. “It’s a local derby and there was never going to be much in it. Thankfully we pulled away a wee bit at the end, but there was nothing in that match right the way through.”
“Coming into the game morale was good. We had a tough league and results towards the end didn’t go our way. But morale was always good and the boys always trained hard.”
O’Rourke takes positives
“We wanted to get Tom [Clarke] back and we were glad to get a half an hour into Tom and hopefully he should be OK for the next day. It’s just a case now of keeping it going for the semi-final,” said the Emmet’s boss.
“We just wanted that one win under us, once we got that one win we felt we could felt we could push on. We’ve a couple of weeks now to get ready for the semi-finals so there’s a lot of hard work to be done between now and then.”
After getting that first win Lisnaskea will be hard stopped, but O’Rourke recognises that whoever his side face along the way, they won’t be getting anything easy.
“Championship is championship, no matter who we get for the semi-final it’s going to be derby with either Newtownbutler or St Pat’s, and then Peter [Clarke, Lisnaskea’s manager in their All-Ireland IFC winning year] could be coming back with Belcoo, so it’s going to be nip and tuck right the way through.”
Posted: 12:08 pm August 31, 2017