Erne Gaels 2-18 Kinawley 0-11 The final scoreline did not do justice to the efforts of newly promoted Kinawley as they fell to a 13 point defeat at the hands of Erne Gaels.
The game was still in the balance with 15 minutes to go but a Michael Og McGarrigle goal decisively swung the encounter in favour of Maurice McLaughlin’s men.
The Erne Gaels boss was his usual pragmatic self after the game.
“It was nip and tuck for a long time and to be fair the final score wouldn’t do Kinawley justice. We did well in the first half against a strong breeze and that is what set us up and in the end we got the scores that we needed,” he stated.
For Kinawley they will be ruing their wastefulness in front of goal as 14 second half wides left their job much more difficult.
The game, a home fixture for Erne Gaels, was played in Ballyshannon and the stiff breeze so associated with that venue favoured the Brian Borus in the first half.
Shaun Doherty was again much the fore with free kicks with Ciaran Melanaphy and Paddy McGovern also converting in the first half.
For Erne Gaels there was a healthy spread of scores throughout the 60 plus minutes with Rory McGarrigle scoring with three first half opportunities from frees.
Belleek attacker Tommy McCaffrey was having a titanic battle with Niall Bogue as the sides traded scores right up to the half time whistle.
The game remained in the same vain for the first ten minutes of the second half.
At that point some costly misses for Kinawley were followed by a few scores from Erne Gaels with Ryan Lyons finding his groove.
And having stretched their lead to four in a matter of minutes they struck for the hammer blow with Og McGarrigle rising highest to palm home a Seamus Ryder long ball.
From that point it was all Erne Gaels and they tagged on 1-04 in the final seven minutes with Luke Ryder, who was impressive throughout, getting the second major of the day.
Kinawley had second half scores from the lively Sean McManus but they were never able to find the consistency of scoring that was needed to challenge Erne Gaels; “It was a hard lesson for us. We just missed too many chances and Erne Gaels punished us. They are a very good team and for our lads it was a game that showed us just what it is like to make that step up.
“Having said that I thought we were in the game for a long time and we just need to learn from it and move on now,” Kinawley manager Mark Monaghan said after the game.