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Fermanagh SFC final: Derrygonnelly leave it late to retain crown as Gaels wilt

Derrygonnelly Harps 0-11 Erne Gaels 1-07

By Colm Bradley

It was back to back Fermanagh championship titles for Derrygonnelly as they came from two points down with nine minutes left to play to claim the New York Cup at Brewster Park.

Erne Gaels had rattled the net through Ryan Lyons on 51 minutes to take a two point lead, but from that moment on Derrygonnelly took a vice like grip on proceedings.

Leigh Jones stepped up to the plate to hit two super scores to tie things up before he set up Declan Cassidy who drilled a wonderful effort over the bar to put the Harps a point ahead.

Erne Gaels failed to score after they hit that goal and all their good work overturning a three point half time deficit was undone as the Harps reeled them in showing their championship experience.

Ryan Jones won a lot of possession around the middle especially in those crucial last ten minutes and in the Harps defence Michael Jones and Dennis Greene were much to the fore.

The first half was an even enough affair with just one point separating the teams before Derrygonnelly hit two quick fire points to take a three point lead in to the break.

Paul Ward was the chief tormentor of the Erne Gaels rearguard in that first half as the veteran attacker clipped over three points from play. Ryan Jones, Garvan Jones from a free and Neil Gallagher with a monster effort from the wing were their other scorers.

For Erne Gaels Seamus Ryder fired over two first half points with Barry McCann also contributing to the scoreboard.

Ryder was involved in one of the defining moments of the game when his rasping shot was brilliantly tipped over the bar after 45 minutes by Derrygonnelly's Dermot Feely.

Feely along with Kevin Cassidy, a cool headed second half substitute, collected their fifth championship medal spanning 21 years.

For Erne Gaels Brian Mullin put in a massive shift in the middle of the field picking up a host of possession and using it wisely for the most part.

In the end though Derrygonnelly deserved their win as they were the team who applied the most adventure when the game was in the melting pot in the last 10 minutes.

Derrygonnelly: D Feely, D Greene, S Burns, Shane McGullion, N Gallagher (0-01), M Jones, G McGinley, R Jones (0-01), G Jones (0-01f), L Jones (0-02, 0-01f), C Jones, D Cassidy (0-02), P Ward (0-04), Stephen McGullion, J McGurn. Subs K Cassidy for McGurn (44), M Cassidy for Stephen McGullion (50), L Jones for Gallagher (54) G McKenna for D Cassidy (60)

Yellow Cards: R Jones (25), C Jones (58)

Erne Gaels: Stephen Ryder, P O'Shea, D McGullion, G O'Connor, P McCaffrey, D Keown, J McCann, B Mullin, R Lyons (1-00), B McCann (0-01), T McCaffrey (0-01f), R Cox, D Lyons, Seamus Ryder (0-05, 0-03f), M Lyons. Subs; M Og McGarrigle for B McCann (37) C Keown for P O'Shea (42), L Ryder for Cox (44), C Smith for McCaffrey (60)

Yellow Cards: M Lyons (26), B Mullin (52)

Referee: N Davis (Teemore)

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