Eslin reignited their GWP Intermediate Championship campaign but the name on everybody’s lips was that of Eslin’s Conor Beirne.
This was a game of many talking points including the excellent scoring performance of Eslin’s Conor Beirne and the missing of a bagful of goal chances by Fenagh, who battled gamely for 33 minutes after full-back Pauric Flynn saw red for a second yellow card offence just prior to halftime.
The loss of Flynn was a major blow for a young Fenagh side who have shown plenty of spirit after a heavy first round loss to Aughnasheelin but they could not quell the influence of Conor Beirne.
The former County star scored a whopping 2-10, 2-3 from play, and his third goal when he dribbled soccer style from halfway to fire the ball to the net summed up a devastating performance.
Equally important to Eslin’s progress was the influence of Conor’s brother Tomas in the closing minutes as he plucked ball after ball after ball from the sky as Fenagh launched a desperate bombardment of the Eslin goal in an effort to rescue the game.
Ballinamore’s subsequent defeat will have raised the ambitions of the five teams still left in the competition but Eslin, who lost heavily in the first round to O’Heslin’s, are now in a wide open field where all the remaining teams will fancy their chances althought they face difficult opposition in St. Patrick’s Dromahair in the semi-finals.
For Fenagh, it was a year of slight progress as the continued introduction of young talent to their team takes time. Seven points from Donal Wrynn and the continuing emergence of young players gives them plenty of hope for the future.
Eslin: Emmet Higgins; Niall Beirne; Ronan Reynolds, Barry Bohan; Paul Kilcrann, Padraig McNulty, Declan Ward; Tomás Beirne, John O’Flynn; Brian Higgins (0-2), Shane Beirne (1-1), Barry McLoughlin; Adrian McCaffrey, Conor Beirne (2-10), Eamon Stenson.
Fenagh St. Caillin’s: Killian McLoughlin, Gary Butler, Pauric Flynn, John Leddy; Dara McHugh, Peter Honeyman, Ronan Ellis; Paul Ellis, Donal Wrynn (0-7); Martin Doonan (0-1), Brendan Flynn (0-4), Richard Heaney; Michael Doonan, Fergal Ellis, Shane Doonan. Sub Michael Doonan (0-1) for S. Doonan (46 mins).
Referee: Eamon O’Grady.