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Derrygonnelly weather the early storm to claim third title in a row

Devenish 0-08 Derrygonnelly 0-15

By Colm Bradley

In the end it was won at a canter with Derrygonnelly not at all flattered by their seven-point winning margin.

After weathering the early Devenish storm they took over the game from the 15-minute mark to go on and claim their third Fermanagh senior championship title in a row.

Devenish will be bitterly disappointed with the fact that they simply failed to muster anything like a meaningful threat in attack.

Chris O'Brien was their only scorer from play with two fine efforts in either half but elsewhere they were locked down by a stubborn and physically strong Harps rearguard.

The opening quarter was of the nip and tuck variety with Devenish hitting the first two scores from dead balls through the accurate left boot of Terry O'Flanagan.

Leigh Jones from play and Gary McKenna replied for the champions.

O'Flanagan had two more for Devenish with Eamon McHugh slinging over a '45' for Devenish in reply before the Harps stamped their authority on the game.

In the final 13 minutes of the half they hit six of the seven points scored to enter the break four points ahead.

Paul Ward and McKenna had a brace each with Conal Jones also on target while 42-year-old Kevin Cassidy drew a huge roar from the crowd with the last score of the half after a flowing Harps move.

Chris O'Brien rifled a half goal chance over the bar in the first minute of the second half for his side's fifth point but the next four were to go the way of the victors who lost Eamon McHugh to a black card two minutes after the restart.

Declan Cassidy - who powered through a mountain of work in the half forward line - hit two of those scores, and while O'Flanagan sporadically replied with free kicks for Devenish the Garrison men never looked like breaking down a defence where Tiernan Daly and Garvan McGinley were proving to be forceful figures.

Ryan Jones and Garvan Jones were picking up ball around the middle for the Harps and they both hit a point from play as the game wound towards its inevitable conclusion.

In injury time Denis Greene seeing saw red for the winners but it was to have no bearing on the game with Derrygonnelly cruising to a deserved seven point win.

They now await the winners of Armagh in Brewster Park in four weeks time.

Scorers:

Derrygonnelly: G McKenna 0-03 (2f), D Cassidy 0-02, P Ward 0-02 (1f), C Jones 0-02 (1f), L Jones 0-02, R Jones 0-01, K Cassidy 0-01, E McHugh 0-01 45', G Jones 0-01.

Devenish: T O'Flanagan 0-06f, C O'Brien 0-02

Derrygonnelly: J Kelly; S McGullion, T Daly, M Jones, N Gallagher, E McHugh, G McGinley, R Jones, G Jones, L Jones, P Ward, D Cassidy, G McKenna, C Jones, K Cassidy. Subs; L Jones for Gallagher (46), S McGullion for McKenna (54), A Gallagher for K Cassidy (57), A Burke for L Jones (60), S Jones for D Cassidy (60)

Devenish: T Treacy, V O'Brien, S McAloon, C McGowan, R Doherty, A McGuinness, M Doherty, T O'Flanagan, J Love, J McNulty, M O'Brien, D Rasdale, G Gallagher, B Mulrone, C O'Brien. Subs; J J O'Brien for McAloon (HT), R Maguire for McNulty (HT), J O'Flanagan for Gallagher (41)

Referee: G McLaughlin (Ederney)

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