The Drive for Five. Making history for the club. Those are the things that Derrygonnelly avoided talking about in the build up to the final but joint manager Brendan Rasdale admits that it was there in the back of their minds and that Sunday’s win over Roslea was that bit special because of it.

“Everyone of them is historic but five in a row carves its own wee piece of history and puts us in with a group with the likes of Teemore,” said Rasdale. “You can’t put words on it, it is a big deal and as much as we tried not to make a big deal of it in the build up, it is a big deal.”

Sunday was not a day for free flowing football and it required the Harps to dig in at times against a dogged Shamrocks outfit who made life difficult, especially in the early stages of the game.

Rasdale though felt that his side got the scores at the key stages in the game that helped to swing things in their favour as the game progressed.

“The conditions clearly made that game a real battle. You had to be ultra careful with possession and it meant that there was a lot more physicality in the game and it meant that it wasn’t going to be free flowing. I’m happy we managed to get a couple of good bits of play and drove through them a couple of times and we got those scores at the right times in the second half. I felt that the timing of the scores were critical,” he added.

Two points divided the sides at the break but when Roslea hit back with two quickfire points at the start of the second half to level up matters it appeared to set up a big second half.

That though never materialised. Derrygonnelly gained the upperhand around the middle third, an area Roslea had performed well for the majority of the first half, and they went on to pick off the scores required to see them over the line and secure that fifth successive title.

“I would have felt that out best spell of control of the game was from about six or seven minutes into the second half through to the end of the game. I thought we played well then and exerted a good bit of control and we were able then to get the scores.

“Look, maybe we should have had a few more scores, there was once or twice we shot when we needed to work it out. We have talked a lot about going back and resetting if the shot is not on and once or twice we didn’t do that. We needed to be patient especially with the weather and the way our opponents set up.

“It was tough going, we knew what Roslea would be about, but we are just delighted to have got the job done,” he added.

The win will see the Harps again step out into the Ulster arena as Fermanagh’s representatives where they will face the Antrim champions but Rasdale doesn’t feel there is the same pressure on them as there was going into last year’s competition.

“I felt uncomfortable at times last year that a big Ulster Club tag was hung on us. I don’t get that feeling this year, the team has changed, we lost a few guys and probably the fact we were beaten last year has taken that pressure off too. There was a feeling that if it was going to happen it was going to happen last year so I don’t feel that same pressure. Look, we will go in and give it our best,” he said.

Before that though he stresses that the focus is solely on this weekend’s league semi-final against Enniskillen.

“The reset button is for next weekend when we have the Gaels in a league semi-final. It is about taking it one game at a time and that game is against the Gaels in the league.

“In may ways this had been a hard year for us and any trophy we can win is great. We want to win whatever we can and the league is hugely important for us but the Gaels will be a huge challenge,” commented Rasdale.