Champions Derrygonnelly back in Fermanagh final after defeating Devenish
Fermanagh SFC semi-final: Derrygonnelly 2-13 Devenish 0-9
IN A repeat of last year’s semi final, it was a case of as you were with Derrygonnelly enjoying a 10-point victory over Devenish to reach the final and earn the chance to defend their title against Erne Gaels.
The Harps had eight different men on the scoresheet and were to produce a scoring burst in the early stages of the second half that Devenish were unable to come back from. Devenish, who were playing with a strong breeze in the second-half, had just drawn to within one of the county champions through a point from the impressive Barry Mulrone, but Derrygonnelly were to hit the next 1-2 to shell-shock the Garrison men.
Johnny McGurn was the man to raise the green flag for the winners with a neat finish from close range. Neil Gallagher strode forward from wing half-back to land his second point of the day before the excellent Garvan Jones tagged on another point as the Harps took a firm grip on proceedings.
Things were very different in the first-half, with Devenish more than holding their own. They started the brighter of the two sides with corner back Martin Doherty brilliant in both defence and when attacking. He added his sides second point after a fantastic run and it was 0-4 to 0-2 in favour of Devenish with Mulrone hitting two fine scores and John O’Flanagan also on target.
Derrygonnelly had kept in touch, with the highly effective Gallagher and Ryan Jones on target before Garvan Jones hit his first of the day to reduce the deficit to just a single score. Midfielders Ryan and Garvan Jones were to be influential throughout and over the course of the hour they would provide 0-6, with 0-5 coming from open play.
By half-time, Derrygonnelly had worked their way into a two point lead. Stephen McGullion landed a super score from play with Garvan Jones on target again. Jason Love hit a beauty for Devenish to tie things up but the Harps would score the final two points of the first half with Ryan Jones and the experienced Paul Ward the men to split the posts.
The game was well poised at the break and with Devenish enjoying the breeze in the second half they had to be confident of their position but that confidence fizzled out when the Harps swooped for their devastating 1-2 without reply.
The Garrison side had some excellent scores from the boot of John O’Flanagan to give them some hope but the Harps started to spread their scorers about with Conal Jones, Gary McKenna and Declan Cassidy joining Garvan Jones in hitting points. Cassidy was an influential figure for Derrygonnelly with his work rate and tackling and he was to put the final nail in the Devenish coffin with his side’s second goal in injury time.
Devenish’s Martin O’Brien was to see red to add to his sides woe as their wait for a first championship final appearance since 1998 goes on. Derrygonnelly meanwhile look for back-to-back senior championships for the first time in the club's history.
Derrygonnelly: D Feely; D Greene, S Burns, J McGurn (1-1); N Gallagher (0-2), M Jones, G McGinley; R Jones (0-2), G Jones (0-4, 0-1 free) L Jones, C Jones (0-1), D Cassidy (1-1), P Ward (0-1), Stephen McGullion (0-1), Shane McGullion; Subs: K Cassidy for Stephen McGullion (27), G McKenna (0-01) for McGurn (49), C Hoy for G Jones (56), S Jones for Gallagher (60); Blood sub: G McKenna for G Jones (42); Yellow cards: C Jones (37), G McGinley (58).
Devenish: T Treacy; V O’Brien, A McGuinness, M Doherty (0-1); R Doherty, K Gallagher, D Rasdale; J O’Flanagan (0-03, 0-01f), J Love (0-02); JJ O’Brien, T O’Flanagan, J McNulty; D Brady, B Mulrone (0-03), M O’Brien; Subs: J O’Brien for D Brady (47), L Robinson for JJ O’Brien (62); Yellow cards: J O’Flanagan (13); Red cards: M O’Brien (63).