Enniskillen Gaels 3-21 Irvinestown St. Molaise 0-05
A strong Enniskillen Gaels side produced a dominant performance as they secured back to back Minor Championship titles with a 3-21 to 0-05 win over Irvinestown St. Molaise at Brewster Park on Saturday night.
Irvinestown had competed well in the first half with goalkeeper Harry Humes making a number of crucial saves but goals late in the opening period from John Reihill and Ronan Quinn put the Gaels firmly in control as they claimed a 2-09 to 0-02 half time advantage. And Enniskillen dictated matters in the second half, picking off a string of well taken points before Daire Keaney slotted home a late penalty to see the Gaels complete a league and championship double. “We’re very pleased to have secured back to back titles, especially given the gap prior to that since we won one,” said Gaels assistant manager Brendan Dooris. “I thought from 1-15 it was a very professional performance from the boys against an Irvinestown side who put up a good physical battle and I have to take my hat off to them, they never laid down,” he added.
Enniskillen will now take a break before returning after the summer to prepare for the Ulster Club. “We’ll take a break to October and then look to have a good eight weeks work going into the Ulster Club. “Also, the hope would be that we can build these players into our senior team over the next few years,” added Dooris.
Irvinestown coach Stephen Ormsby knew his side faced a difficult task but he is happy with the progression the side have made.
“It was always going to be a tough ask as they are a quality side but we prepared well and it was all about the development and progression of this side and there has been progression.“Two years ago we were in the ‘B’ final and now we reached the ‘A’ final. I would be pleased with how things have gone,” he said.
The opening ten minutes of the game saw little dividing the sides with Ronan Quinn and Timmy Boyd firing over points for Enniskillen while Irvinestown’s first score came from a Ben McCann free. The warning signs were there though for Irvinestown as goalkeeper Humes was called on twice in as many minutes to deny Callum Frempong and Conall Quinn. It remained closely contested as Quinn and Kevin Gallagher traded points but following this the Gaels began to take control of matters as they got a grip on proceedings in the middle third with Eoin Beacom an influential figure while Johnny Cassidy, Brandon Horan and Nathan Tierney were driving them forward from the half back line. And they chipped away at scores to began to open up a cushion.
Frempong raced through to fist over while Callum Jones, Boyd and Frempong again pushed the lead out to seven points while Humes was again called into action as he made stops from Ronan Quinn and Frempong. Irvinestown’s battling qualities could not be called into question and Ryan Keane, Seanie Mahon and Ben McCann were all to the fore but two quickfire goals from Enniskillen left St. Molaise facing a mammoth task.
A flowing move from the Gaels resulted in John Reihill tucking the ball to the net in the 26th minute of the encounter and this was swiftly followed by a Ronan Quinn goal, the lively forward collecting a long ball before turning and slotting a shot to the net. With Conall Quinn and Callum Jones adding points it left Enniskillen in a commanding position at the interval as they led 2-09 to 0-02. Irvinestown did rattle over the opening point of the second half through midfielder Oliver Hughes but Enniskillen responded with points from the impressive Jones (2), Eoin Beacom and Ronan Quinn to make it 2-13 to 0-03.
In fairness to Irvinestown they never let the heads drop and full back Ryan Keane and substitute Paul Wallace both drilled over a fine points. Enniskillen though continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and Jones slotted over a super individual point which was followed by a brace from centre half forward Conall Quinn,. Keaney and Nathan Tierney also tagged on scores, as did substitutes Ronan Beattie (2) and Gavin Greene. Keaney then wrapped things up in added on time as he calmly converted a penalty to the bottom corner to leave it 3-21 to 0-05 at the finish.