GAA Football

Belnaleck boss Bradley: We belong at the top table in Fermanagh

Belnaleck are now in their year playing senior championship football in Fermanagh
Paul McConville

Belnaleck manager Colm Bradley believes his side have paid their dues in the Erne county and that their Mannok Fermanagh SFC quarter-final win over Teemore proves they belong at the top table in the county.

The club is now in their third year in the senior championship having risen from junior level in recent years and Bradley feels their 1-11 to 0-11 victory showed they have learnt a lot from their success at the lower grade.

“Belnaleck has had a really steep learning curve over the last number of years," said the former Fermanagh forward.

"A couple of years ago these lads were playing in the junior championship – I think they played in three junior finals in a row before they won one.

“We were lucky we won the intermediate the following year, which put us up into senior, and this is our third year at senior now.

“We proved that we belong in the senior championship. It is the second semi-final that the club will play in 53 years, and that is huge for Belnaleck."

Belnaleck had looked to be well on their way to the win when a Dermot Lewsley goal two minutes into the second half but Teemore responded to close the gap back to a single point in the last ten minutes.

However, Bradley was delighted with how his players dug in to ensure their progress in the competition.

“At one stage it looked as if we would close it out and win by a decent margin, but Teemore did what Teemore do and came back, and I was delighted that we dug it out.

“I would have taken a one-point win, so a three-point win I will definitely take,” he added.

Kinawley are back in the last four for the second year in a row after securing a 3-12 to 0-10 victory over Roslea with manager Ollie Fay acknowledging that the goals from Donal Owens, Eoghan McManus and Tom Keenan helped them finish up comfortable winners.

“We were a bit nervous coming into the game because we know that Roslea are a very seasoned, experienced championship team, and we knew we had to perform.

“The first 15 minutes we were maybe a bit nervous, but after that we started controlling and playing the way we want to play football, and thankfully we got a couple of goals that gave us a comfortable lead,” he said.

The focus now for Kinawley switches to the semi-final and Fay is determined that they produce a better performance than they did last year when they were disappointing in their loss to Derrygonnelly.

“We know what it was like last year; we came out of a quarter final win and we went into a semi-final, and we just did not show up.

“It is very important now that we regroup, get the heads right and just focus on the next game and hopefully we will be in a better place than we were last year,” he said.

The draw for the semi-finals will take place after the last of the quarter-finals between Enniskillen and Tempo on Sunday evening.

On Friday night at Brewster Park, there is the eagerly anticipated meeting of holders Ederney and the side they defeated in last year's final, Derrygonnelly.

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GAA Football