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Oct. 22, 2011

LEAGUE FINAL: Belcoo 2-10 v 0-13 Devenish

Belcoo secured back to back Junior League Division 1 titles following a three point win over neighbours Devenish. This was a closely fought game throughout but in the closing few minutes Belcoo pushed on and kicked some good scores to ensure they finished winners.

On a damp evening in Derrygonnelly both teams took time to find their feet in the slippery conditions. There were numerous turnovers, spilled balls and slip ups but it all led to an intriguing contest.

The opening period seen Devenish gather the vast majority of breaking balls around the middle of the field. Belcoo’s Ryan Dolan and Gerard Mellor broke several balls but it was the Devenish men who were sharper to these breaks which set up numerous attacks. The early running was made by Devenish and John Maguire was the first to raise the white flag.

Kevin Coyle landed a free from all of 50yards to extend the lead before Jonathan Feeley knocked over a free the right wing to get Belcoo up and running. The next score was to be a goal by Belcoo, Shain Gallagher lofted a high ball into the square which Aidan McGrath broke into the path of Gary Maguire and Maguire made no mistake firing to the net from close range.

With the Belcoo full back line of James Stewart, Shane McAloon and Ryan McGovern restricting the Devenish inside forward line to little ball it was the strong running midfield pairing of Coyle and Jason Love who did the scoring. These players were instrumental in the Devenish fightback after the goal. Both players landed two scores each while Colm Burns also found the target as Devenish hit 5points in a row to lead 0-7 to 1-1.

Having gone 10minutes without a score Feeley knocked over a good score from play before Belcoo hit the net again. Substitute Philip Leonard played a pass into the corner for Feeley to chase, Feeley collected the ball, beat his man, played a one-two with Aidan McGrath before fisting the ball around the square for Ian Corrigan to palm into the net.

In the closing moments of the half Love and Feeley traded free kicks to leave it 2-3 to 0-8 at the interval. A scrappy opening to the second half in sued but the contest remaining tight and Devenish had managed to clip over two scores to put them back in from. Jason Love was on target from frees.

Belcoo didn’t register a score in the second half until the 14th minute but it was well worth the wait as Philip Leonard beat a number of players on the left wing and fired over from an acute angle to level matters. In the final quarter Belcoo began to gather the break balls which had eluded them for most of the game. Stephen Nolan, Eoin Leonard and Seamus Conlon were on hand to gather possession and by this stage Feeley and Philip Leonard were on top form inside. Leonard was to kick a long range point from play to give Belcoo the lead at 2-5 to 0-10.

Devenish weren’t going to give up without a fight and a Darren Brady score leveled the game again. Feeley was on target for Belcoo but Love responded as the game entered the final 5minutes.

By this stage every ball was been fought for fiercely, Shain Gallagher and Gerard Mellor turned over Devenish attacks which set up scores for Belcoo. Philip Leonard hit point number three since his introduction while Ian Corrigan bust through and fisted a point.

As Devenish laid siege on the Belcoo goals looking for a three-pointer a dangerous ball into the square seen goalkeeper Aidan Leonard and Devenish forward Eunan O’Flanagan contest the high ball and as the ball broke loose and looked like it was going into the net Shain Gallagher was on hand to gather the ball on the goal-line thus removing the danger.

Having survived this scare Belcoo broke forward and Stephen Nolan played a great ball to Feeley, the attacker was fouled before getting up to knock over a free from an acute angle which gave his side a three point cushion. A fisted Eunan O’Flanagan score reduced the deficit however a late Feeley scores rapped up victory deep into stoppage time.

Having waited 47years to lift this trophy last season Belcoo made sure they were going to hang on to it for another year at least.

TEAM: Aidan Leonard, Ryan McGovern, Shane McAloon, James Stewart, Shain Gallagher, Eoin Leonard, Stephen Nolan, Gerard Mellor, Ryan Dolan, Damien Holleran, Ian Corrigan (1-1), Aidan McGrath, Aaron Dolan, Jonathan (0-6), Gary Maguire (1-0). SUBS: Philip Leonard (0-3), Seimi Rafferty, Patrick Burns, Seamus Conlon, Martin Corrigan. UNUSED: Darragh Timoney & Niall Cullen.




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