Enniskillen 1-12 Aghadrumsee 0-04

In the driving wind and rain in Tempo on Saturday, Enniskillen Gaels booked their place in the final if this years Intermediate Championship, with a convincing 11 point victory over Aghadrumsee.

The Gaels were in control from the outset and when Conor Love superbly chipped Magpies keeper Peter Phair five minutes from the break, it was only ever going to end up in an Gaels win.

Coach Simon Bradley admits that they are where they want to be at this stage of the season but expects a tough examination from either Belcoo or Maguiresbridge in the final.

“That was the target that was put to them last Christmas and thankfully, with the pandemic and everything else, we have on opportunity now to get back to senior football.

“The boys are hungry to get back there but they also appreciate that we have a final to play and it is not going to be easy regardless of who it is against.

“We know that whoever come through are going to be a massive test. Both teams pose threats in different ways and you have to remember for the vast majority of our boys that it is their first adult final,” said Bradley.

The Gaels dominated matters from the start. They were tigerish in their tackling forcing Aghadrumsee into plenty of errors and making it difficult for them to get down the field in what were already testing conditions.

By the break they led 1-06 to 0-01 and never looked in any danger in the second half as they eased through.

“At the time I thought we were poor in the second half but having watched it back I felt we played well,” said Bradley.

“We were quite safe and defended well. Even though the scoreboard wasn’t ticking over as well as we would have liked, we controlled the game and the conditions were very difficult.”

This is a youthful Gaels squad but Bradley is happy with their progress although he stresses that they still have a long way to go.

“We would be pleased that the boys are taking what we did on the training ground and implementing it on match day.

“This is a work in progress. The short term goal is to win the Intermediate Championship and get into senior football and the long term goal is to become competitive in the senior championship. Having watched the two senior semi-finals at the weekend, there is a lot of work to do for this group of players to get to that level,” he added.

Enniskillen quickly imposed themselves on the contest and it took just 14 seconds for them to show their intent as Conor Kelly hit the first score of the match.

By the sixth minute it was 0-03 to no score as Conall Quinn popped over after some patient play and it was followed by a Love point following a fine ball in from Callum Jones.

When Steven Flynn was fouled in the 13th minute, Eddie Courtney knocked over the Magpies first and only score of the half.

Love restored the three point lead a couple of minutes after more good work by Jones.

Jones was to get on the scoresheet with a fine free from distance after 22 minutes to leave it 0-05 to 0-01.

The Magpies had rare forays forward but Enniskillen’s defence dealt well with them.

With five minutes to play Eoin Beacom gathered a mark from a kickout and he sent the ball long into the full forward line where it dropped kindly for Love who gathered and deftly chipped over the onrushing Phair.

And just before the half time whistle, patient Gaels play saw half back Conor Murphy hit a point to leave it 1-06 to 0-01 at the break.

Aghadrumsee needed a goal to get back into the game and they had a chance at the start of the second half as Courtney battled well to get away from Johnny Cassidy but his ball across the goal didn’t go to hand and the attack ended with a scuffed shot rolling harmlessly wide.

Timmy Boyd got the first point of the half for the Gaels as they reacted quickest to a hop ball after 40 minutes.

The Magpies went on to take over the scoring as they hit three out of the next four scores.

Darren Kearns who went into full forward following the substitution of Courtney due to injury claimed a great mark before pointing.

Boyd responded for the Gaels when he was put through on goal by Love, firing over the bar. Flynn then hit two frees for Aghadrumsee to leave it 1-08 to 0-04 with 10 to go.

The Gaels took control once more and rattled off the last four scores of the game.

Love got on the end of a quick Gaels break to point before Quinn hit a great score and then followed up with a free.

The last score of the game came from corner back Aaron Nolan who rifled over from the left hand side as it ended 1-12 to 0-04 for the Gaels who await the winners of Belcoo and Maguiresbridge in the decider.