Lochside Garage

A bitter defeat for battling Belnaleck


Despair for Belnaleck players as Naomh Colmcille begin their celebrations in Celtic Park, Derry on Saturday night.

As a player with Leitrim county teams back in the 1980s, Gerry Flanagan was hard working, teak tough but fair.
He never gave less than 100 per cent and that is one of the attributes he has been developing in this young Belnaleck side this season.
Saturday night was a cruel defeat, but Flanagan was emphasising the positives in a truly memorable year for this tiny club.
Belnaleck had been the better side for much of the first half after recovering from a nervous start to lead by 0-4 to 0-2 on the cusp of half-time in dreadful conditions which made accurate shooting almost impossible.
However a second half goal set Naomh Colmcille on their way to provincial glory and Belnaleck were left to ponder what might have been. Nevertheless Flanagan was proud of his men and what they achieved this year.
“It has been a great journey for the lads by firstly winning the Fermanagh county title and showing great character to come back and do it after the pain of being beaten in two junior finals on the trot in 2015 and 2016.
“Then they had a great run in Ulster finishing up in a provincial final which is a great achievement.
“It just did not go our way in the second half, a few mistake and a few slips of the ball. You can’t afford to make mistakes at this level”.
Belnaleck will also rue a few missed frees from scoreable positions by the usually accurate Joe Heavey, although he certainly wasn’t helped by the slippery conditions.
Elsewhere the Erne also dropped a few shots into the arms of the Naomh Colmcille keeper when they were in the ascendant and could have easily gone in leading by four or five points.
Instead they led by just the minimum margin after Naomh Colmcille’s inspirational captain Willie Gillespie kicked a mammoth point for the winners.
That left Belnaleck only leading by a point, 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval.
“Naomh Colmcille are a big strong team and they really came into it in the third quarter.
“They used all their experience and they also got their goal at the right time and fair play to them. We can have no complaints.”


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