GAA Football

Fermanagh SFC Allstars: Derrygonnelly Harps dominate 2016 selection

Derrygonnelly captain Ryan Jones lifts the New York Cup after the Harps defeated Erne Gaels at Brewster Park, Enniskillen

Derrygonnelly defended the Quinn Building Products Fermanagh SFC title for the first time in their history earlier this month, and the Harps dominate Colm Bradley’s selection of the stand-out players from the Erne senior championship...



To begin with, Feely is 42. He is also around 5ft 8. Neither of that mattered as he collected his fifth championship medal with a brilliant save in the final to deny Séamus Ryder a certain goal, which was perhaps the moment of the final.

His kick-outs are also underestimated. Feely's dedication to his club is replicated by so many of his team-mates, which is the main reason the Harps have gone back-to-back.




The lesser known of the three Quigley boys from Roslea, but a beating heart of the Shamrocks side over the last six or seven years. He was back to his best this season. Tigerish in the tackle and a very good man-marker when on his game, his most eye-catching play has always been his swift counter-attacks.

Those are still there, but he has added patience and an excellent ability to read the game to his arsenal.



McGullion has been a mainstay of the Erne Gaels side for a long number of years. He has featured in a host of positions from midfield back and has rarely been found wanting. This season, he settled on the number three jersey and he did so with quiet efficiency.

He even managed to get forward for scores. In the final, the full-forward line of Derrygonnelly was blunted and McGullion played a huge part in that.



Greene played at wing half-back in last season's campaign, but moved back to the corner with great effect this year. He has added an admirable ability to man-mark to his game this season and, even though he was deployed in the corner, he was able to get forward with regular effect.

Greene rarely turns the ball over and, more often than not, plays the right pass when in possession. A consistent and reliable member of the Derrygonnelly team.



One of the most consistent performers on the Derrygonnelly side over the past number of seasons. He might not get the headlines, but he is effective on both sides of the ball. As a defender, he is touch-tight and hard to escape from, while he is also proficient in hoovering up breaking balls and he is also calm and assured in possession.

An excellent quarter-final and semi was followed up with a solid final as he collected another winner's medal.



The unassuming Jones has made the corner-back slot his own on the county team but, for his club this championship campaign, he excelled at centre half-back. Adding positional play and excellent reading to his tight marking, Jones was in excellent form throughout the championship.

In the final, he picked up the ever dangerous Tommy McCaffrey and, while McCaffrey won possession at times, Jones never looked like allowing the Erne Gaels forward to dictate matters.



He goes about his work with little fuss, but McCann gets his hands on an awful lot of ball for his team. Always doing the right thing when in possession, he is the epitome of efficiency. Has the capability to burst into life with his upfield surges and was a major reason in Erne Gaels enjoying a dominant spell at the start of the second-half in the final.

A player of real ability and sure to be a star for many years to come.



The county man has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He is the one player his team-mates look to to dig them out of any hole they might find themselves in. This was never more evident than in the county final.

Erne Gaels had just scored a goal to go two points up and, with nine minutes on the clock, Jones started to dictate around the middle, getting on a lot of ball and driving his team on.



Jones floated around the field for Erne Gaels, but spent most of his time in midfield and was a major driving force in getting his team to the final. His goal, once they got there, was not enough to secure victory, but 2-6 over three games from midfield is a tidy return.

Outside of scoring, he was excellent against Roslea, especially in the second-half, where he won a lot of possession and used it intelligently.



Cometh the hour, cometh the man. When Derrygonnelly needed a cool head in the final, they found it in young Leigh Jones. Trailing by two points, he stepped up to hit a brilliant free to leave one between the sides with five minutes left.

A minute later, he topped that with an even better effort from play and he turned provider for the match-winning scores as the game wound to its conclusion. He was very good in the rest of the championship too.



He may have played with number 13 on his back, but Ward spent most of his time out around the half-forward line for the county champions. A veteran of four winning teams, he has been a pivotal member of the Derrygonnelly machine for over a decade now and he came alive in the championship final, kicking four points from play as Erne Gaels found it hard to come to grips with him.

He also used the ball intelligently throughout the campaign.


Declan Cassidy scored 2-3 for Derrygonnelly over three championship games  


Cassidy completes an all-Derrygonnelly half-froward line. A defender by nature, Cassidy is well able to get back to help out his side when needed and he did so time and again over the course of the three games.

An underrated player in terms of vision, Cassidy rarely puts a foot wrong in possession and, in the forward line this season, he contributed 2-3 over three championship games, including the winner in the final.



McCaffrey was in brilliant form for Erne Gaels in both the quarter-final and the semi-final. And to be fair to the 22-year-old, he won a lot of possession in the final and drew a number of frees. It was a mark of the danger he posed that he was often surrounded by three or four Derrygonnelly players every time he had the ball.

McCaffrey matured into a top-class forward this season and his future is bright, as is Erne Gaels’.



Ryder was a permanent source of concern for every defence he faced. A threat from the long ball and also able to get out in front and win primary possession, he was the fulcrum of the Erne Gaels attack. He scored 1-9 over the course of three games, even though he had to retire injured before the break against Roslea.

In the final, he was ever dangerous and kicked five points, including two from play and set up the Erne Gaels goal.



Playing just two games, Mulrone topped the scoring charts in the Fermanagh championship, alongside Tommy McCaffrey of Erne Gaels. The county man, who is more accustomed to half-forward or half-back, proved to be a revelation in the inside-line.

He proved unmarkable in both games, both in terms of scoring and providing and it will be interesting to see if Pete McGarth is tempted to deploy him closer to goal in the green of Fermanagh next season.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

GAA Football