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Roslea ready to take next big step

By Declan Bogue

Success had been a long time coming for Peter Lynch.

Brought into the Roslea Shamrocks senior team for the first time in 2001, it wasn't until 2009 that he won his first Championship match, but as he explains there were good reasons for that.

Peter McGinnity took over his home club in 2007 and found that a lot of things had to change. Relegation from Division One in Fermanagh in his first year would not change that.

"He had to come in and change a lot of things, such as the culture of what was happening around Roslea. A few boys had to be let go off the squad and he had to change the whole mindset," recounts Lynch, whose father Gerry served alongside McGinnity as a selector for Roslea's recent glories.

"Boys bought into it and everything he asked us to do. You are seeing the rewards of the foundations he built back then."

The rewards he speaks of have been four out of the last five Fermanagh Championships. But domination in the own backyard leads to greed and their win in the 2013 Ulster club over Cavan's Ballinagh left them wanting more.

They ended up beaten by Glenswilly in the Ulster semi-final, and it pains the 29-year-old forward to recall that murky day in Omagh.

"Straight away we lost a goal in the opening minute," he recalls.

"We were chasing the game from then on and conceded three goals which is really unlike us, the way we set up defensively. If you look at how Glenswilly set up we were really naive. Especially in the first half the way we kept persisting with the long ball in.

"We changed it at half-time, started running it and reaped the rewards. But we were caught by a sucker-punch goal and you can't concede three goals at any level, but especially senior Ulster club level."

Now they have a chance to exact revenge of a sort when they face St Eunan's of Letterkenny in the first round (tomorrow, Ballybofey, throw-in 2.30pm.)

"It is a game we are going there to win," he vows.

This season, Errigal Ciaran pair Mark Harte and Aidan O'Donnell have taken over and Roslea have not missed a beat, winning league and Championship at both senior and junior levels.

"They are two top-class lads. They love their football and all the lads in Roslea have bought into them," says Lynch.

With Harte having seen St Eunan's in action three times in recent weeks, it is sure to be a tactical battle, with Lynch adding: "Mark doesn't have to go too far to get a few ideas!"

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