Erne Gaels 1-14
St Joseph’s Ederney 1-9
Hunger is the best sauce they say, and we saw ample proof of that in Belleek on Saturday evening. Erne Gaels badly needed two league points and they duly collected them. They had eight different names on the scoresheet, while restricting the Joseph’s scoring to Declan, Darren and Paul McCusker.
Ryan Lyons’ goal on the stroke of half time was the key score, but it was his side’s fighting spirit after that green flag which impressed Gaels manager Eddie O’Reilly.
“The goal was a big help, we could have got a second one after half time which would have buried the game early,” said O’Reilly. “They had a bit of possession and then we had to scrap our way back into the game. We gave away the goal, in fairness it was a good shot, but I was impressed with the way we responded to it with a couple of points.
“Unfortunately we came out with a number of injuries. Tommy [McCaffrey] is back out with that same groin strain and it looks like Shane Rooney has tore a hamstring.”
The first quarter was nip and tuck, with Ederney just about on top in possession, but Erne Gaels ahead on the scoreboard, 0-5 to 0-3. Then the homesters started to ease away as the half wore on as Ryan Lyons’ dominance started to tell.
Lyons slotted a free a metre beyond the 45, after 23 minutes, Brian Mullin adding a point a minute later. Darren McCusker was on the mark to make it 0-7 to 0-4 with time nearly up in the half. Then came Belleek’s closing flourish.
First Seamus Ryder won a high one into the area, but Ederney managed to damp down the immediate danger before the ball was worked out for Ryan Lyons to point
Then a minute later Ryder won the ball on the wing and drilled it into Brian Mullin’s chest. Mullin laid off to Ryan Lyons who was coming off the shoulder and blasted past Chris Snow. Erne Gaels 1-8 to 0-4 to the good at half time.
Ederney tried to get a good start to the second half, but a majestic Seamus Ryder point boomed over five minutes into the second half stretched the margin to eight and that was followed two minutes later by a Thomas McCaffrey goal effort which came back out off the foot of the post.
With 12 minutes remaining it was 1-12 to 0-7, and then St Joseph’s got a lifeline. Declan McCusker engineered a shooting chance for himself about 20 metres out and unleashed a rasper of a shot to the roof of the net.
Ederney needed to build on that, but an inspirational free from Seamus Ryder a minute later pricked their momentum. Paul McCusker hit two points, but any comeback hopes foundered on Erne Gaels grit.
Ederney manager Iggy Gallagher was understandably disappointed with the result.
“We lacked a bit of penetration up front, they dropped a lot of men back and it wasn’t easy. We battled rightly in the second half, but the scores they got before half time were the crucial scores at a crucial time,” said Gallagher. “We expected more because our league title was on the line and it looks like it’s gone now, but we’ll move on and try to prepare for Roslea in two weeks time.”
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