Senior Football Championship Final
John Hughes reports from Brewster Park
It’s been a tough week for the Derrygonnelly community, but their footballers showed their big hearts in 60 passion-filled minutes of football which brought the New York Cup back to Canon Maguire Park.
An action packed first half got under way in explosive fashion when a Sean Quigley 46 metre free from the near the sideline dropped short and Niall Cosgrove scrambled it home.
Derrygonnelly’s answer came after two minutes, Conal Jones sending over a nice effort from 30 metres. Two minutes Paul Ward pointed from the left wing after some good build-up play by Derrygonnelly.
The next score came after 12 minutes as Derrygonnelly started to take the game by the throat. Stephen McGullion was dragged as he prepares to pull the trigger on the 13m line in front of the posts. Paul Ward tapped over to level
Then Garvan McGinley drove the ball into the area where it was won by Stephen McGullion who fed off to Leigh Jones to point from close range. Paul Ward then got on the end of some robust play from Derrygonnelly to point. He added another two minutes later, easing over off the left foot and then another three minutes later as Derrygonnelly turned the screw.
The Harps first goal arrived after 21 minutes. Declan Cassidy won the Roslea kick out and drove at goals and palmed off to Leigh Jones bursting off his shoulder, but his shot was blocked. It came back out to Shane McGullion whose goal effort came back off the upright to Conall Jones who took the point to put Harps five ahead.
Roslea were reeling now. Sean Quigley notched a free, but up the other end of the pitch Shane McGullion made no mistake at the second time of asking, drilling a rocket of a shot to Sean Boyle’s top left corner with eight minutes left in the half.
Then on 25 minutes an incident saw Seamie Quigley and Stephen Burns yellow carded. Higgins threw in the ball and Harps won it and played quick ball in to Paul Ward who goaled with a rasper which ripped right through the net to put Derrygonnelly 2-8 to 1-1 up.
Sean Quigley answered with a free and then Seamie Quigley fired in a long ball from the sideline into the area. Sean Quigley batted it down and the inrushing Ruairi McGuinness slammed it to the net with a soccer volley.
A Sean Quigley free was the last action of the half and set the game up for an exciting second 30. Roslea 2-3 Derrygonnelly 2-8.
And boy did it deliver. Derrygonnelly made the lion’s share of the running, but Shamrocks were never out of touch until the dying moments.
The first score came three minutes in, Garvan Jones’s high dropping shot coming back off the crossbar to Denis Greene who pointed to put two goals in it.
Then Declan Cassidy won a free against the head and drilled in to Paul Ward who fed Conall Jones to point from out on the right.
Then a moment charged with emotion as Garvin McGinley pumped over from the right to a huge huge cheer from the Harps support
But just as Derrygonnelly looked like they were going to cut loose, Brendan Sherlock drove in long ball to Sean Quigley and he managed to get his shot across the line to leave it 3-3 to 2-11, Harps just two ahead now.
Then with 40 minutes gone Derrygonnelly got the perfect response. Leigh Jones passed across the face of goals to Shane McGullion who palmed home from just in front of the goal line at the far post
A minute later though there was a major blow for the Harps with a neck high challenge on Peter Lynch by Conall Jones seeing their attacking ace get a straight red.
The Harps stepped it up over the stretch to home though and his loss wasn’t felt and they hit the next score to underline their determination.
With 44 minutes gone Stephen Burns picked out Stephen McGullion who sent over well from the right wing.
Roslea aren’t county champions for nothing though and Sean Quigley answered with Roslea’s first point from play. Derrygonnelly responded straight away though with Stephen McGullion pointing to restore the three goal cushion for Archie Greene’s men.
With nine minutes left Paul Ward picked out Leigh Jones and he laid off to Conall Jones in a goal scoring position, but he decided instead to palm over the bar.
Gary McKenna and Shane Lynch then swapped points as time started to run out for the Shamrocks. With three minutes left Conor Quigley landed a really lovely point from long range, but despite peppering the Derrygonnelly area that was to be as good as it got for the Shamrocks, their title slipping from their grasp.
With a minute left Neil Gallagher drove over for Derrygonnelly right after his introduction and then there was just time for Tiarnán Daly to field one last high dropping ball into the area before Martin Higgins blew his long whistle and confirm Derrygonnelly as 2015 Fermanagh SFC champions.
Sean Boyle; Conor Quigley (0-1), Niall Cassidy, Dermot Reilly; Conor Mulligan, Peter Sherry, Peter Lynch; Shane Lynch (0-1), Niall Cosgrove (1-0); Ruairí McGuinness (1-0), Seamus Quigley, Shane McMahon; Brendan Sherlock, Sean Quigley (1-4, 3f), James McMahon.
Subs: Martin Beagan for Dermot Reilly 20m; Michael Jordan for Ruairí McGuinness 34m.
Yellow card: Seamus Quigley 24m.
Dermot Feely; Michael Jones, Tiarnán Daly, Eamon McHugh; Denis Greene (0-1), Stephen Burns, Garvan McGinley (0-1); Shane McGullion (2-0), Ryan Jones; Declan Cassidy, Paul Ward (1-5, 1f), Garvan Jones; Leigh Jones (0-1), Stephen McGullion (0-4), Conall Jones (0-2).
Subs: Maurice Cassidy for Shane McGullion 42m; Gary McKenna (0-1) for Garvan Jones 51m; Neil Gallagher (0-1) for Stephen McGullion 57m; Ruairí Leonard for Denis Greene 59m; Jack Kelly for Dermot Feely 62m.
Yellow card: Stephen Burns 24.
Red card: Conall Jones 41.
Referee: Martin Higgins (Lisnaskea).
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