Gaels dig deep to win fourth consecutive title

Enniskillen 0-14
Kinawley 1-8

By Pauric McGurn

CONOR Watson opened the scoring on Saturday evening and he closed it as Enniskillen Gaels collected their fourth Reserve A Championship title in a row.

Indeed, Watson was the star of the show for Enniskillen Gaels and was backed up by an impressive showing from the likes of Ethan Beresford, Ross Bogue and Patrick Cassidy as Enniskillen held the lead for the entire game.

Kinawley did ask questions late on but it always felt like Enniskillen had just more to give.

Watson pointed with just three minutes played after a defensive mistake in the Kinawley defence and Ethan Beresford and Ross Bogue made it a three point game after nine minutes.

Kinawley finally got on the scoreboard on 11 minutes when Shea Keenan did well to feed Shaun Doherty who pointed with real accuracy.
Bogue had started well and he played on Matthew Dixon for Enniskillen’s fourth score before Watson got forward again from wing half back to point and extend their lead to 0-5 to 0-1.

Beresford and Bogue put daylight between the teams after just 19 minutes, while Kinawley managed a second score on 30 minutes when Doherty kicked a free.

With the rain now causing real havoc on the pitch, it was Enniskillen who pressed on and two injury time scores from Watson and Beresford left it 0-9 to 0-2 in favour of town side at the break.

Kinawley needed to change things up and brought on Lorcan McKenna, Aichlinn O’Cathain and Aaron Tierney to help them get back into this game.

Doherty and McKenna both pointed inside the opening two minutes of the second half and it looked like the Boru’s were up for the challenge.

Beresford had a goal chance on 34 minutes but it was brilliantly saved by Kinawley custodian Kevin Crudden only for the ball to fall kindly to Connor Kelly who pointed from a tight angle to leave it 0-10 to 0-4.

McKenna was proving to be a real handful for the Enniskillen defence and he pointed his second of the half with a clinical score before Beresford impressively ran at the Kinawley defence to tag on another score a bring it back to a six-point game again, 0-11 to 0-5.

On 43 minutes Kinawley gave themselves a real lifeline when Doherty stabbed home a goal in a congested penalty area.

With 17 minutes remaining there was now just a goal separating the sides at 0-11 to 1-5.

However, Enniskillen’s response was swift. The outstanding Watson went straight up to make it a four-point game as the rain came down even heavier.

Enniskillen then went down to 14 men when Josh Horan was red carded not long after being brought on.

Daniel McGovern pointed for Kinawley after good work by Donal Owens to bring it back to three with eight minutes left.

The next score was going to be critical and it went the way of the Gaels. Daniel Keenan did well to feed Watson who pointed to leave it 0-13 to 1-6.

Sean Crudden who was only on the field did point with his first touch to once again claw Enniskillen back to a goal and when Donal Owens pointed it was a two-point game as the match entered the last three minutes of additional time.

A Doherty free then agonisingly hit the crossbar deep into injury time, while at the other end Watson got forward to point for the last score of the game.

Enniskillen had done enough to get over the line and take the honours for a fourth consecutive year.


Fergal Quinn, Jack Tierney, Patrick Cassidy, Ryan McDonnell, Conor Watson 0-6, Nathan Tierney, Ciaran Smith, Conor Carney, Ross Bogue 0-2, Ryan McGandy, Conall Quinn, Matthew Dixon 0-1, Ethan Beresford 0-4, Neil McDermott, Connor Kelly 0-1. SUBS – Jamie Steele for R McGandy (HT), Daniel Keenan for R McDonnell (HT), Josh Horan for C Carney (48), Timmy Boyd for N Tierney (48), Ben Kettyles for C Kelly (63).

Kevin Crudden, Noel Martin, Tiarnach O’Cathain, Oisin Morris, Anthony Anderson, Aaron Davis, Daniel McGovern 0-1, Gabriel McHugh, Cathaoir Hamilton, Eoin Drumm, Ben Corrigan, Donal Owens 0-1, Shea Keenan, Sean Doherty 1-3, Rory McAloon. SUBS – Philip McTeggart for E Drumm (24), Lorcan McKenna 0-2 for C Hamilton (HT), Aichlinn O’Cathain for B Corrigan (HT), Aaron Tierney for S Keenan (HT), Sean Crudden 0-1 for G McHugh (58)

Referee – Barry Monaghan (Irvinestown)