Derrygonnelly Harps 1-06
Former All Star Martin McGrath turned in a man-of-the-match display to lead Ederney to their first Fermanagh SFC title in 52 years.
Underdogs Ederney thus stopped reigning champions Derrygonnelly Harps from equalling Enniskillen Gaels six in a row record from 1998-2003.
This was a thoroughly-deserved victory for the winners who recovered very well from a bad start where they were hit by a superb goal from Harps teen starlet Micheal Glynn.
However, Derrygonnelly could only add one more point for the rest of the half.
McGrath and the outstanding McCusker were central to Ederney's victory. They hit the first of their two goals from a converted penalty from Mark McCauley after Paul McKervey was hauled down.
That goal pushed them to a 1-05 to 1-01 lead at the break.
But the really important score came shortly after the Harps lost midfielder Stephen McGullion to a yellow, black and ultimately a red card in the 40th minute.
The Harps threw everything into attack but were caught on the break by a lightning Ederney response.
And their powerful full-forward Sean Cassidy coolly finished a four-man move to the net to put the winners into a 2-06 to 1-03 lead with ten minutes to go.
The Harps refused to yield but could not get the goal they so desperately needed to get back into the game.
Jesus what a historic night here in Brewster Park. @ederneygaa are the new county championship after 52 years. Men crying in the stand beee saying they thought they would never see it. What a scene. pic.twitter.com/2BhQUmek9d— Fermanagh GAA (@FermanaghGAA) September 27, 2020
Conall Jones converted a few late frees but there was always only going to be one winner as the well-organised Ederney defence held firm for a memorable victory.
The game opened at a cracking pace with both sides patiently probing for an opening and it was the reigning champions who carved out a wonder goal in the sixth minute.
Impressive wing-back Lee Jones began a patient seven-man build-up that ended with Eamon McHugh feeding the final ball to teenage starlet Glynn, who had nerves of ice as he rifled the ball to the roof of the net.
Promising wing-back Jacob Britton, who had to go off injured after an accidental clash, got Ederney off the mark with a well-struck point to leave Harps leading by 1-00 to 0-01.
This was added to two minutes later when Stephen McGullion called a mark and calmly drilled the ball between the posts from 45 metres.
Suddenly Harps were in front by four points, but a resurgent Ederney had other ideas and McGullion’s point was the last Harps score in the half.
Ederney were growing in confidence and won a penalty when Harps veteran Declan Cassidy hauled down McKervey in the square.
McCauley converted the penalty and points from goalkeeper Chris Snow and McCauley as they led by 1-05 to 1-01 at the break.
The scoring rate dropped in the second half but it was Cassidy’s great goal that sealed the deal and ended that 52-year famine.
Ederney: C Snow; M Maguire, St McElrone, P Maguire; D McCusker, F Gillen, J Britton (0-01); M McGrath (0-01), C McGee; P McKervey, M McCauley, (1-02, 1-00pen), Paul McCusker (0-01); L Harron, S Cassidy (1-02), R Morris (0-01).
Subs: E Cassidy for J Britton (18), D Deazley for P McKervey (57), E Ferris for R Morris (62) O McGee for C McGee (64), Darren McCusker for S Cassidy (65).
Derrygonnelly Harps: J Kelly; A McKenna, T Daly, M Jones; L Jones, Gareth McGovern, G McGinley; S McGullion (0-01), R Jones; E McHugh, C Jones (0-03f), D Cassidy; M Glynn (1-02, 0-02f), Gavin McGovern G McKenna.
Subs; J Love for Gareth McGovern (40), K Cassidy for Gavin McGovern (43) Shane McGullion for G McKenna (50), R McHugh for G McGinley (56) S Gilroy for D Cassidy (58).
Referee: N Cullen (Erne Gaels).