Can Enniskillen turn the tables on Derrygonnelly?

Eleven months may have passed, but the memory of last year’s senior championship final defeat still hurts in the minds of the Enniskillen players, management and supporters.

The Gaels lost out to rivals Derrygonnelly by nine-points in the decider before the Harps went on a memorable run to the Ulster Club final.

Prior to that, Enniskillen had also fell victim to the Harps in the 2021 league final, losing out by seven-points, 2-09 to 0-08.
Enniskillen manager, Simon Bradley, is ready for another tough test against the reigning champions.

“Derrygonnelly is the ultimate challenge,” he said. “We have played them a few times and they beat us twice last year. They are the odds on favourites to win the championship this year and they have earned that right to be the ultimate challenge.”

Bradley’s side booked their place in the semi final of the senior championship after a quarter final win over Belnaleck last weekend.

The Gaels dominated the second half, outscoring Belnaleck by 11 points to two.

Bradley was pleased with how his players forged out the victory.

“That was the target at the start of the year for both teams, to get over the disappointment of last week (against Kinawley) and move onto this week,” he said.

“I thought that we got off to a great start but we just didn’t take our chances. We cut them open three times. We could have been cruising at half time but that is football.

“At half time, we had a tight word with the team and they came out and done the business.”

Derrygonnelly joint manager, Mick Glynn, is not buying into the favourites tag though and believes the Gaels pose a massive threat this Saturday in Tempo.

“We are anticipating a very tough game,” said Glynn.

“Like all of the games that we have had against Enniskillen, there has been little between us.”

Enniskillen’s marquee forwards, Conor Love and John Reihill, have been in sensational form this season, but Glynn is quick to point out that the Gaels have many outlets in their attack.

“They [Conor Love and John Reihill] are lively and they have other forwards as well.

“They have six other good forwards, and not just those two, and we just have to trust our defenders that they can do the job on the day.”

With both semi finals being played at neutral venues, Derrygonnelly and Enniskillen make the trip to Tempo on Saturday afternoon, a decision Glynn questions.

“I cannot understand why both semi finals were not played in Brewster Park,” he said.

“Brewster Park is where I feel all big games should be played.”

With the Gaels readying themselves for their fifth consecutive championship game in as many weeks, Bradley questions what is being asked of players.

“Five, six, games in seven weeks is ridiculous for an amateur sport,” he said and was very unhappy with the Gaels having to play last Friday night against Belnaleck.

“To try and get players to do that, players over in England, players in Belfast, players in Dublin, games on a Friday night are ridiculous.

“The lights work on Saturdays and Sundays too!”


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