Western Cars Minor ‘A’ Championship Final
Enniskillen Gaels 2-11
Erne Gaels 0-2
Enniskillen Gaels cruised to a first Fermanagh Minor Championship title since 1998 with a commanding 15 points to spare against Erne Gaels on Tuesday evening in Brewster Park.
Both sides came into the game confident in their own ability and before referee Joseph Corcoran threw the ball in there was the small matter of one of the teams having to change jerseys with the clash of home colours. Enniskillen headed to the side-line to put on their blue away jersey and it mattered little, as 12 seconds into the game Neil McDermott who was excellent throughout smashed his shot to the back of the net to give Enniskillen the most perfect of Final starts.
John Reihill then followed up with a fine score after good work by midfielder Michael Dooris and it was soon to be 1-2 to no score as Conall Quinn pointed from a free as Erne Gaels looked set to be facing an uphill task as early as the 6th minute.
Erne Gaels did finally manage to raise a white flag in the 12th minute when County minor Luke Ryder found a small bit of space in the right before swinging over a fine score to finally settle the Erne Gaels team.
Enniskillen though were holding all the aces with Beacom and Dooris dominating at midfield. It was Beacom who played in Brendan Lilley for Enniskillen’s third point of the evening as they went 1-3 to 0-1 ahead.
Dara Dolan then in the 18th minute pointed from 35 yards before Erne Gaels goalkeeper Kevin Tivnan was called to make a good save from Brendan Lilley’s shot as the game hit the 20 minute mark and Enniskillen held a solid 4 point lead.
Enniskillen hit a sixth wide of the first half in the 22nd minute but Conor Goodwin stopped the trend with a fine score after a smart move involving Conall Quinn and John Reihill.
Nathan Stewart then won a high ball in and was subsequently fouled in which Neil McDermott pointed and soon after this Stewart was once again fouled and it was left for McDermott to point as the sides went in at the break and Enniskillen were to hold a strong 1-6 to 0-2 half time lead.
The second half was 2 minutes old when Conall Quinn pointed after a strong defensive clearance by Headon Hughes-Jordan and two minutes later Neil McDermott pointed from play to give himself 1-4 for the evening and Enniskillen 1-8.
Erne Gaels were finding it difficult to contain a rampant Enniskillen attack, but the Belleek side will look to numerous wides in the second half from scoreable positions which would have certainly brought them back into this tie with six wides in a row in a 8 minute draining confidence from the side.
In the 49th minute Enniskillen midfielder Eoin Beacom did well to drive forward and from 40 yards out he was to strike the ball elegantly over the bar as Enniskillen roared into a 10 point lead and it seemed to be the game was up for sure.
As the game petered out Enniskillen brought on a raft of subs and Ronan Quinn caught the eye as he first raced at the Belleek defence before passing to Conor Goodwin to point before Quinn himself got on the end of a long move by Enniskillen to see his shot go past Kevin Tivnan and into the net to give Enniskillen an unassailable 2-10 to 0-2 lead with just 7 minutes remaining.
Right on the stroke of 60 minutes it was Quinn again who pointed after a strong run by Patrick Cassidy and it was confirmed that it just wasn’t meant to be Erne Gaels’ night as attacker Rory McGarrigle saw his shot come back off the crossbar right at the full time whistle. The referee called for the ball and Enniskillen’s celebrations could start in earnest as the County town side recorded a first Minor title success since 1998, on this evidence the Enniskillen men could be delivering more trophies in the not so distant future.
Enniskillen – Jason Howe, Nathan Tierney, Conor Carney, Jonathan Cassidy, Ciaran Smith, Edward Boyd, Headon Hughes Jordan, Michael Dooris, Eoin Beacom, Neil McDermott, Conall Quinn, Conor Goodwin, Brendan Lilley, Nathan Stewart, John Riehill.
Subs: Aaron Nolan, Ronan Quinn, Dara Keaney, Ronan Beattie, Patrick Cassidy.
Scorers – Neil McDermott 1-4, Ronan Quinn 1-1, Conall Quinn 0-2, Conor Goodwin 0-2, Eoin Beacom 0-1, John Rehill 0-1.
Erne Gaels – Kevin Tivnan, Michael Heron, Colm Keown, Damien McGovern, Conor Gormley, Joshua McMorrow, Dara Dolan, Michael Og McGarrigle, Luke Ryder, Rory McGarrigle, Gareth Deery, Ethan Webb, Brian Ryder, Oran Gallagher, Ben McCann.
Subs: James O’Shea, Josh O’Shea and Damien Mullane.
Scorers – Luke Ryder 0-1, Dara Dolan 0-1.
Referee – Joseph Corcoran (Brookeborough).
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