posted 18 Jun 2017, 14:30 by Derrygonnelly Harps

Gaels 2-14 Harps 1-10

Pre match favourites Enniskillen Gaels moved away from the Harps in the final ten minutes of this well contested match with two Matthew Dixon goals making the tie safe for them and killing off a very game Harps outfit.

The Gaels led 0-6 to 0-5 at half time, with the Harps tenacity to stay in touch inspired by a remarkable display of goalkeeping by Lee Skuce, who pulled off a succession of outstanding saves to keep the Gaels at bay, and in truth they kicked a few bad wides to add to their nerves.

In the seventh minute of the second half, Gavin McGovern grabbed a goal on one of the too infrequent situations when we got decent ball to him, and the Harps were a point up! The Gaels finally drew level in the 19th minute of the half, and Matthew Dixon was to prove their matchwinner with two goals in the 22nd and 25th minute to give them a good margin. The Harps had lost both Jack Love (Black Card) and Conor Maguire (Second Yellow) in the 18th and 21st minutes, and just couldn’t sustain the level of organisation needed to stop the Gaels exploiting the spaces. Best for the Gaels on the night: John Rehill and Johnny Cassidy. And they definitely deserved their win.

There were a lot of admirable aspects to the Harps’ performance. Leaving aside Skuce’s heroics, they all worked very hard and a lot of players such as Ronan McHugh put in a huge shift. The kickouts were very well contested, Oisin Smyth was very composed and moved the ball out effectively quite a bit. One felt that Gavin McGovern had the beating of his man inside, but we weren’t able to feed him as much as we would like. In fairness, the team has clearly worked hard on and has developed an ethic of ball retention, and sometimes that means recycling rather than bogging it into the other team’s square and being annoyed when it comes out again, It’s not an easy balance to get. Overall, plenty of things to build on for a tilt at the champo, starting with Lisnaskea on 6th of July. Our previous results against Lisnaskea mean we will be totally focussed for this one. Good luck lads.