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Fermanagh SFL Division 1 Final Preview

By Tom Thu 10th Dec

Fermanagh SFL Division 1 Final Preview
Fermanagh SFL Division 1 Final Preview
Fermanagh Senior Football League Division 1 Final
Derrygonnelly Harps v Ederney St Joseph’s
Saturday December 12th in Brewster Park @ 7.00pm

Saturday night in Brewster Park will see the Fermanagh Senior Football Division 1 League Final played between Derrygonnelly Harps and Ederney St Josephs. The season has had a bit of everything and the long drawn out affair certainly has not helped matters. Championship winners from October, Derrygonnelly Harps will go into the game as strong favourites to complete a first ever double for the club. Ederney come into the game as underdogs but will know that if they can set up a game plan in stopping the Derrygonnelly running game then anything will be possible over 60 minutes under the bright lights of Brewster Park.

Both of these teams are similar in that they have a quality cohort of young players who have the talent to go with their admirable commitment and desire to sit at the top table of Fermanagh over the next few years. Add in some older and more experienced campaigners to the mix, as well as formidable management teams, and it’s no mystery as to why the two form teams in the league have made it to the Final.
Derrygonnelly have been hugely impressive this season and they will be confident of adding a league crown to go along with their Championship title. The Harps have went on a hugely impressive run since defeat by Slaughtneil in the Ulster Club Championship, they have defeated Erne Gaels (twice), Roslea and defeated Ederney just a fortnight ago which has made the League run on a week longer.
Ederney on the other hand have had to really grind out certain results to get to the position where they now find themselves, with Mark Henry’s charges coming through a Playoff against Roslea only last Sunday in Aghadrumsee.
You don’t have to look too hard to identify the strengths of both of these teams. Derrygonnelly are a solid unit throughout their starting 15, and indeed 21 who will potentially play, and looking for a weakness is no easy task. When you look at their defence, they don’t give up too many goal chances. They have hugely physical backs who have superb game intelligence and seem extremely adept at spotting danger before it gets too close to their goal. Defenders such as Eamon McHugh, Michael Jones and Stephen Burns are experienced players with huge volumes of talent that has seen all 3 play for Fermanagh as well.
The Harps midfield platform sees them choose between a range of players in Ryan Jones, Conall Jones, Stephen McGullion and Maurice Cassidy who will all look to win their fair share of ball.
In attack Derrygonnelly will look to Paul Ward to be playmaker once again but Stephen McGullion can be called upon to also play at full forward, while his brother Shane McGullion has been a real gem in the Harps team this year and is still a Minor in 2016.
Ederney last tasted League glory in 2013 and have some considerable talent in their ranks just like Derrygonnelly. Conor Magee, Enda Cassidy and Ryan Morris are players that will certainly make a name for themselves in the Ederney colours for years to come. Defence will be centered around Stephen McElrone and John Irvine who have performed admirably over the last few weeks, while at midfield Declan McCusker and Martin McGrath have been superb in recent games and will look to perform once again in the engine room.
Ederney attackers such as Paul McCusker and Peter Gormley will need to keep the scores flowing, while Darren McCusker and Ryan Morris can also be likely heros, the latter having a fine Minor season for the Ederney club this year.
For all Gaels in Fermanagh it will be great to finally see the League finish up this weekend, when one considers it started back on Sunday April 12th this year when across the water, Chelsea topped the Premier League and Leicester City were at the bottom. How much has changed in the intervening 35 weeks is amazing.
This weekend should see a close encounter, its a final and expect a dog fight on wet and slippery conditions.
Ederney v Derrygonnelly pic1
By Tom Thu 10th Dec

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