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14 man Derrygonnelly make Enniskillen pay the penalty

Enniskillen 0-10
Derrygonnelly 2-08

Derrygonnelly clinched their place in the semi-final of the Quinn Direct
Senior Championship Final with a four-point victory over Enniskillen Gaels
in their replayed contest in Kinawley on Friday night.

The first meeting between the sides saw Enniskillen claim a draw with a late
Ronan McCabe goal but, despite the Harps having Paul Greene dismissed after
15 minutes, they made no mistake at the second time of asking as they forged
out a lead in the second half to see them through.

While Derrygonnelly may have had a rub of the green when they were on the
right end of what looked like a harsh penalty decision in the second half,
there is also no doubt that they deserved to progress.

The sending off in a strange way seemed to work better for Derrygonnelly
than it did Enniskillen. Up to this Enniskillen had been bossing matters but
following that they seemed to up their game and the hunger and workrate that
they displayed from this to the finish was what saw them through to victory.

In the second half Derrygonnelly tightened up defensively, dominated the
breaking ball and with Paul Ward and Daniel Ward showing well for the ball
they took the fight to Enniskillen.

Paul Ward followed up Jonathan McGurn’s second successful penalty kick, he
also bagged one at the start of the game, with a point from play and with
four points between them it was always going to be an uphill battle for the
When the Gaels did manage to respond Derrygonnelly were always able to hit
straight back and a Daniel Ward point in injury time put the final nail in
the Enniskillen coffin.

Enniskillen manager Ollie McShea made a handful of changes from the drawn
game with Paul Gunn, Barry Morris, Donal Carron and Michael Kerr all handed
starting roles at the expense of Neil Cox, Mario Ledwith, Niall McVeigh and
Pio Fitzpatrick while there was also a number of positional switches that
included Tom Brewster moving to centre half forward and Sean Cox to

It was Derrygonnelly though who got off to the brighter opening as McGurn
rattled the ball past Chris Breen from the penalty spot after Mickey Lilly
was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Cassidy.

The Gaels response to this, though, was what McShea would have wanted as
they were soon back in contention.

Colm Bradley got them off the mark with a point from play which was quickly
followed by a Rory Judge pointed free.

With Enniskillen dictating matters in all sectors they went on to level as
Chris Murphy finished off a flowing attack involving Tom Brewster and
Bradley, and Brewster then put Enniskillen ahead when he drilled over a free
to make it 0-04 to 1-00.

The wheels seemed to be falling off for Derrygonnelly when in the 15th
minute Paul Greene was red carded after a clash with Paul Brewster but
instead of folding they increased their efforts and got themselves back into
a game that up until that the Gaels had dominated.

Daniel Ward drew the sides level before Murphy replied for Enniskillen with
his second of the game.

The remainder of the half was a lot more even as Paul Ward made it 1-02 to
0-05 with a converted free before McCabe and McGrath traded points to leave
it all square at the interval, 1-03 to 0-06.

Derrygonnelly began the second half in a committed fashion but it was Tom
Brewster who registered the next score to again edge Enniskillen in front.
However, Derrygonnelly answered this straight away with a good score from
Ryan Jones and this was followed by the second penalty of the game.

Cassidy placed McGrath through on goal but he looked to have run out of
ideas with Mark Miller and Chris Breen having tied him up however referee
Martin Higgins felt they had did this illegally and blew for a penalty which
McGurn drove in off the post.

Paul Ward then rattled over a point and all of a sudden Derrygonnelly had
put four points between the sides with ten minutes played.

Rory Judge and Tom Brewster knocked over frees for Enniskillen but Cassidy
and McGrath clipped over scores for Derrygonnelly to keep them in charge on
the scoreboard.

As the game moved into the final five minutes the Gaels were forced to go in
search of the goal they needed to get back into contention but Derrygonnelly
stood firm in defence.

Paul Gunn did reduce the gap to three but when Daniel Ward fired over in the
first minute of added on time the game was up for the Gaels as Derrygonnelly
kept alive their championship aspirations.

Webmaster: Ronan McGurn

Doire Ó gConaile na Cláirsigh
Derrygonnelly Harps GFC

Canon Maguire Park
Co. Fermanagh
BT93 6ER

Tel: 02868641685