All County Football League Division One
Erin’s Own Cargin 1-14 St Paul’s 0-09
Cargin remained on the winning trail and in pursuit of another league title when they proved too strong for the visiting St Paul’s on a slippery Toome arena on Saturday evening last.
The reigning county champs did start this one as the hot favourites and indeed a quick getaway and an early lead supplemented by a superb Michael Mc Cann goal saw them at 1-06 to 0-02 by the end of the opening quarter this was to be as good as it was to get for John Brennan’s men.
Cargin were looking on the way for a comfortable win when they started the second portion with a ten point advantage but in the event, and although a shock never looked likely they failed to reach the heights promised in the concluding thirty minutes.
The Toome men seemed to lose direction somewhat in the second period which was underlined by poor finishing, and unforced errors aplenty before closing with a 1-14 to 0-09 victory.
Been a while since St Paul’s had visited the Toome venue but following more than a few years in the second division the Shaw’s road side had regained top division status last term and a place in the top table regained.
Donnach Finnegan’s men have not done at all well since their return from exile and with just a single win gained to date having recorded a three point win at Aldergrove in round two they came back to the South west on Saturday evening past seeking a much needed positive return.
Cargin did lose out to Creggan in round two but they have regained composure since and last out’s away win at St Gall’s underlined current well being and they did start this one as warm favourites and prevailing confidence was quite evident in the home side’s smart start to proceedings.
The Erin’s Own men fairly sped away from the start traps and had four points on the board in the opening five minutes.
Ciaran Close who had returned to duty from a recent leg injury had points in the 1st and 5th minutes sandwiched between white flags raised in turn by Ciaran Bradley and Michael Mc Cann.
The city men did get on to the board via a Conor Mc Cartan free kick despatched between the posts in the 7th minute and a wayward clearance by the home side opened the way for Liam Carland to add another.
St Paul’s looked to have overcome the early stage fright but such was only momentary as David Johnston and Paul Mc Cann replied with points apiece at the other end before Michael Mc Cann followed with a goal.
A well directed Brendan Laverty pass opened the way for the full forward who completed with a precision based drive into the corner of the net giving the St Paul’s keeper John Mc Aulfield no chance at making the save.
The visitors did make replay a few minutes thereafter as Billy Joe Burns despatched a free between the posts but with the excellent Tony Scullion driving through the middle at pace to set up the platform the home side added a further four scores without reply as Ciaran Close (2), David Johnston, and John Carron raised further white flags the home side were at 1-10 to 0-03 as the short whistle, and the half time interlude approached.
Having been on the back foot for a time St Paul’s did return to the ‘coal face’ in the latter stages of the period with Conor Mc Cartan and Billy Joe Burns raising successive white flags but a last minute point from the ever accurate Ciaran Close saw the home side take respite holding a 1-11 to 0-05 advantage.
St Paul’s did have the use of the fairly substantial Northerly breeze in the second period which was to prove a rather disappointing affair.
The home side did add a couple of early scores as Ciaran Close and Ciaran Bradley came up with points apiece, but they were to have difficulty locating the posts thereafter.
Paddy Lowe did add a 37th minute point to the St Paul’s total but when another well directed Tony Scullion delivery saw Paul Mc Cann, Michael Clarke, and Paul Mc Cann combine in turn to send Michael Mc Cann in to add a 47th minute point the score was to complete the home side’s total.
St Paul’s did regain focus until the end and as the Cargin men throttled down somewhat and the retention of possession proved the objective the visitors did seize opportunity to add to their total.
Full forward Liam Mc Larnon rose highest to claim a Paddy Lowe lofted delivery to forward over the bar in the 50th minute and the ever accurate Billy Joe Burns added another couple from placed efforts.
The home side had done enough however and at the long blast points were secured as they breasted the winning line at 1-14 to 0-09.
John Mc Nabb, Gerard Mc Corley, Donnach Mc Keever, Tony Scullion, David Johnston (0-02), Justin Crozier, Brendan Laverty, Gerard Mc Cann, John Carron (0-01), Ciaran Close (0-06), Paul Mc Cann (0-01), Kevin Mc Shane, Ciaran Bradley (0-01), Michael Mc Cann (1-02), Michael Clarke.
Sub: Oran Mc Auley for C Close
John Mc Aulfield, Aidan Kavanagh, Conor Hughes, Pat Copeland, Dee Duffy, Dee Burns, Paddy Lowe (0-01), Michael Connolly, Dee Martin, Liam Carland, Conor Mc Cartan (0-01), Joe Duff, Niall Peoples (0-01), Liam Mc Larnon (0-01), Billy Joe Burns (0-03).