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Seniors Beaten In Championship Final

Box Score

Oct. 6, 2013

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: Belcoo 1-9 v 1-12 Roslea

Roslea collected a third Fermanagh Senior Championship Title in four years at Brewster Park after overcoming a strong challenge from Damian Gormley's Belcoo side. The O'Rahilly's, playing in a first Final in 25years made a particularly bright opening before the experienced Shamrocks clawed their way back into the contest in what was an absorbing County Final.

  

From the throw in Belcoo won an early free kick in midfield which Shane McCabe found John Carrigan, his ball into the corner was gathered and expertly fired over the bar by Jonathan Feeley to give the underdogs a perfect start. The positive opening from the O'Rahilly's continued as Stephen Maguire landed a good point after receiving a pass from Shane McCabe before he added a third Belcoo score from a free after Shain Gallagher had been fouled. 0-3 to no score with 10minutes played.

Roslea had launched a number of long balls into the Belcoo square but these had been dealt with well by the blues defence. The Shamrocks did open their account on 12minutes when Shane Lynch recycled possession for Peter Lynch to point off his left foot.

Belcoo remained on top around the middle and were winning all their individual battles. Gavin Leonard popped up to point from distance and it was back to a three point game. With the O'Rahilly's on a roll they would squander some good opportunities, John Carrigan seen two efforts from distance slide wide while Paul McGrath and Stephen Maguire narrowly missed shots also.

  

Jonathan Feeley beats the 'keeper but this effort rebounds to safety off the post. PIC: Tim Flaherty

Jonathan Feeley would jink in from the left wing and drill at shot at goal, the ball rebounded off the post and away to safety. These misses would be punished as Roslea finished the final 10minutes of the half the better and would lead 1-5 to 0-5 at the break.

Sean Quigley drilled over a point on 16minutes to make it 0-4 to 0-2 before he caught and fisted the ball across goal for Niall Cosgrove to palm into the net, James McGrath however made a stunning save to turn the ball around the post. Seamus Quigley pointed the resulting 45m kick before a long punt from James Sherry bounced over the bar to tie the contest on 24minutes.

    

Battle for primary possession from a first half kick out. PIC: Tim Flaherty

Feeley did manage to register Belcoo's first score in some ten minutes with another good effort off his left foot. Roslea though would net a goal as the half entered added time. A long ball into the square from Conor Mulligan was broken by Niall McGovern but Sean Quigley had gathered and rifled a shot beyond McGrath within a second to give the Shamrocks the lead for the first time. Seamus Quigley landed a free on the left wing before the half time whistle went and his side led by a goal at the turnaround.

From the throw in James Sherry won possession and punted another high ball into the square, Seamus Quigley gathered and was fouled, he tapped over the resulting 14m free. Five more minutes elapsed before there was another score, first half substitute Ciaran Flaherty drove forward and pointed.

Within a minute Belcoo were level, Paul McGrath slipped the ball off to the onrushing Gavin Leonard, his effort for a point hit the post and Stephen Maguire reacted quickest to power a low shot into the corner, 1-6 each with 20minutes to play.

  

Midfield aerial battles continued into the second period. PIC: Tim Flaherty

Sean Quigley capitalised on a handling error by Niall Leonard to restore Roslea's lead before James McGrath was again to make a sublime save. Seamus Quigley's low left footed drive into the bottom left corner was tipped around the post by a strong left handed save. Quigley, like in the first half, stroked the resulting 45m kick over the bar. 1-8 to 1-6.

It was now midway through the second period, Roslea's James Sherry was beginning to hold sway around the middle, having taking some fine catches from kickouts. Belcoo remained in the contest and the next five minutes proved pivotal.

Paul McGrath registered a point from distance to reduce the deficit to one and moments later Barry McGovern's ball into Stephen Maguire seen the full forward fouled for a penalty. The O'Rahilly's couldn't convert as McGrath's poor spot kick was kept out by the feet of Roslea 'keeper Sean Boylan and it remained 1-8 to 1-7 to Roslea.

  

Belcoo goalkeeper James McGrath, made two stunning saves during the game to keep Roslea at bay. PIC: Tim Flaherty

The Quigley brothers continued to kick points, Sean pointing from play and Seamus knocking over two placed balls, the second a massive kick from all for 55-60yards. Kieran Leonard did fire over for Belcoo but it was a goal the O'Rahilly's needed at this stage, Seamus Quigley hit an excellent left footed score from the wing to put four between the sides again. A late 14m free from Stephen Maguire was blazed over to leave it 1-12 to 1-9 at the finish.

Belcoo can be immensely proud of their performance on the day, they had the opportunities during a dominant opening 20 odd minutes to hold a comfortable half time lead but these chances weren't taken. An experienced Roslea outfit who have a system and pattern of play which works well for them stuck to their task and eventually came out on top as the Quigley brothers accounted for all but two points for their side.

  

Distraught and dejected Belcoo players and mentors at the final whistle. PICS: Tim Flaherty

  

The missed penalty 11minutes from time was the key moment in the second period, if converted Belcoo would have held a two point lead and who knows what would have happened. Belcoo goalkeeper James McGrath produced two magnificent saves on the day in what was an absorbing Championship Final played out in front of a big crowd, the majority from the O'Rahilly's club.

The search for a first New York Gold Cup goes on in Belcoo while Roslea have now collected three of the last four Fermanagh Senior Championship titles.

Teams: BELCOO: James McGrath, Ryan Leonard, Niall McGovern, Niall Leonard, Declan Leonard, Eoin Leonard, Paul McGrath (0-1), Brian Cox, John Carrigan, Shain Gallagher, Shane McCabe, Kieran Leonard (0-1), Jonathan Feeley (0-3, 1f), Stephen Maguire (1-2, 1f), Gavin Leonard (0-1). Subs Used: Ciaran Flaherty (0-1), Barry McGovern, Ian Corrigan.

ROSLEA: Sean Boyle, Peter Sherry, Niall Cassidy, Conor Quigley, Conor Mulligan, Martin Beggan, Martin Renfrew, Kevin Cosgrove, James Sherry (0-1), Niall Cosgrove, Peter Lynch (0-1), Shane McMahon, Shane Lynch, Seamus Quigley (0-7, 6f), Sean Quigley (1-3). Subs Used: Dermot Reilly, Niall McMahon, Brendan Sherlock.

 

 

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