The team of the season so far, without a shadow of doubt has been Erne Gaels. The Belleek men extended their winning run to nine consecutive league games against Enniskillen Gaels on Friday night.
In a pulsating Brewster Park clash, the Belleek men showed they have the mental strength to grind out a win and knock over those all important scores.
A tough test like Friday night is just what Seamus Ryder and his team wanted, ahead of Sunday’s league final showdown with Kinawley;
“Yeah, definitely. It just worked out that way. It worked out perfectly because they (Enniskillen) just needed to win and we just wanted to keep the winning run going. In the end it just felt like a championship game. The stand was getting up for us and on the pitch everyone was gung-ho. It felt like a championship, like a big game there at the end, and we just came out the right side of it. So yeah, a big test and we came through it, delighted.”
The Belleek men will attempt to clinch their first division one silverware in 26 years this weekend. Kinawley is the final hurdle in their attempt to bring the cup back down the Shore Road.
When the teams met less than a fortnight ago it was one way traffic as Ryder’s side racked up an impressive 4-14 to 1-7 win, up in Kinawley. The Belleek manager is not laying too much emphasis on that victory though;
“We’d be foolish to read too much into that because they were missing four or five definite starters, James Allen, Ruaírí Corrigan, Aaron Tierney and there were a couple more.
“A Dom Corrigan team, they are going to be organised, hard to beat and they’ll have confidence coming into the final. If they’re the underdogs, they’ll relish that. They’ll be coming to prove a point on Sunday, that that wasn’t them in the last game, so we’d be foolish to read much into that.”
While it is a novel meeting final between these two clubs, Ryder is looking forward to the game and hoping they can do enough to make in ten wins in a row;
“Just getting the silverware on the table; any year you get silverware is a good year because we’re starved of it. I’m sure Kinawley feel the same. Whatever happens then after that, your year is probably a success. Anything else then is a bonus on top of it.”
Ryder says he’s waiting on the fitness of Micheal Og McGarrigle, Ultán Kelm and Colm Keown all of whom felt a bit ‘tight’ after Friday’s game but says “hopefully they’ll be okay for Sunday.”
Should Erne Gaels win on Sunday, that will seed them in a championship group with Derrygonnelly, Belnaleck and Teemore. On the otherhand, a defeat would mean a place at the table with Enniskillen Gaels, Ederney and Roslea.
“I was looking at both groups, you’re not going to get it easy whatever group you go into. But look, we’ll think about that after Sunday,” he said.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition