Stephen McMenamin on the ball for Red Hugh's Picture: Thomas Gallagher
Red Hugh's journey in the All-Ireland Junior Championship came up short in Ballinamore with Easkey winners by two points.
Red Hugh's 0-9
It was a disappointing end but they can hold their heads high. A goal from James Lindsay midway through the second half was the big turning point. It put the Sligo champions five up and they never looked like relinquishing their hold.
Easkey were on the scoreboard on 29 seconds, Ryan McKenna firing over, and his battle with Thomas McMenamin, the Red Hugh's full-back, was one of the highlights of the opening half with McMenamin standing firm.
Red Hugh's were on terms inside two minutes when Calvin Bradley was fouled off the ball and Damien Browne hit the free.
Easkey, with the wind at their back, had most of the possession for the following ten minutes and by the eight minute they were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead with points from McKenna (free), Joe McHugh and Andrew Kilcullen.
But Red Hugh's were patient and they hit back with two points inside a minute with two Browne frees, the second coming after the Easkey kick-out was intercepted and Calvin Bradley was fouled.
The Donegal champions were almost in for a goal on 18 minutes when a Bradley effort for a point dropped short but the 'keeper did well under pressure.
However, in the final ten minutes of the half Easkey turned the screw with some good attacks and by half-time they had stretched the gap to 0-7 to 0-3 with points from Kevin Duffy, another McKenna free and the full-forward was almost in for a goal on 30 minutes, but his effort was half-blocked and it went over the crossbar.
Red Hugh's got the start to the second half that they dreamed off with points from Damien Browne (free) and Odhran Doherty, both inside two minutes.
They should have been level as Calvin Bradley was wide off a post from an easy position and Damien Browne had a 35m free drop short.
Pauric McMenamin had another drop short and at the other end a high ball from Andrew Kilcullen was fumbled by Ciaran Kelly, but it was scrambled out for a '45; from the '45' Easkey went short and when a high ball was punched away, it fell for James Lindsay to fire to the corner of the Red Hugh's net.
Damien Browne launched a great point from distance but Easkey replied with a good break and Joe McHugh was on the end of the move to point.
Peadar McGlinchey tried to keep Red Hugh's on the front foot and they had a half goal chance but it was blocked and another move was penalised for a throw pass.
In added time Red Hugh's came again with a free from Browne and Johnny Carlin from play to reduce the margin to a goal.
They had one last chance but Calvin Bradley's effort to drop a ball in short was just too long and went over the crossbar and that was their last chance.
However, they had given their all against a very good Easkey side.
Scorers - Red Hugh's: Damien Browne 0-6,5f; Odhran Doherty, Calvin Bradley, Johnny Carlin 0-1 each
Easkey: Ryan McKenna 0-4,2f; James Lindsay 1-0; Joe McHugh 0-2; Andrew Kilcullen and Kevin Duffy 0-1 each.
RED HUGH'S: Ciaran Kelly; Gary Kelly, Thomas McMenamin, Shane McGlinchey; Eugene Browne, Ryan Kelly, Cathal Doherty; Peadar McGlinchey, Stephen McMenamin; Gerard Melaugh, Pauric McMenamin, Odhran Doherty; Shane Gallagher, Damien Browne, Calvin Bradley.
Subs., Colm Melaugh for C Doherty 44; Johnny Carlin for O Doherty 50
EASKEY: Shane Kilgannon; Ian Barrett, Noel McGuire, John Feeney; Eanna Moylan, Rory McHugh, James Lindsay; Eugene Mullen, Mikie Gordon; Dylan Sloyan, Joe McHugh, Emmet Healy; Andrew Kilcullen, Ryan McKenna, Emmet Healy.
Subs., Jonathan Conway for Duffy 59
REFEREE: Patrick Maguire (Longford)