By Geordie McGuckin
Reserve Cup (Semi Final)
Erin’s Own Cargin (holders) 5-06 Casement’s Portglenone (0-08)
‘Goals win games’ is the old well worn adage and indeed such did prove true as the Reserve Cup holders, Erin’s Own Cargin made progress into the final of the 2017 version as they look to retain the silverware when they made progress at the expense of a gallant Casement’s side on Wednesday evening past.
In a super Toome sward the home side did take time to settle and after young Ciaran Bradley opened account with a 5th minute point the Cargin men did look composed.
The visitors levelled via Niall Kelly a minute thereafter but a John Mc Nabb goal which followed a precision based Kyle Johnston delivery and an Oran Mc Auley tap down put the reigning champs in the driving seat.
Casements did face a stiff breeze in the opening period but in dominating the middle via the Kelly’s, Niall and Stephen they did push forward.
Eoin Doherty was in the offensive vanguard leading the Bannsider’s on but although the latter did snatch a 13th minute point Cargin had opened up a ten point gap by the 20th minute.
John Mc Nabb who had vacated his usual berth in between the posts for this one did fully underline his prowess in the forward department and after he was on hand to finish an Oran Mc Auley pass to the back of the net in the 17th minute Enda Mc Grogan added another.
David Johnston, Ciaran Bradley, and the impressive Tony Scullion had contrived in the approach to send the centre forward in the despatch past Bryan Mc Cann after a long distance Peadar Mc Keever point to see the Erin’s own men at 3-03 to 0-02.
A 23rd minute John Mc Nabb point increased the Cargin advantage but the Portglenone med did finish the period the better.
The Bannsider’s had unlucky earlier when respective efforts from Mark Graham and Eoin Doherty found the crossbar as a barrier but late points from Michael Hagan did come to offer hope.
Cargin did start in the second portion with a healthy looking nine point advantage but with the elements against and their visitors had underlined positive intentions in the opening period and more than capable of come back.
The Casement’s men did start meaning business it seemed and fully in attack mode they were to add a couple of points in the opening phase.
Niall Kelly split the posts in the 3rd minute from a 30 metre free kick following an indiscretion on the incoming Conor Magee and when he followed suit a few minutes later as he punished a foul on Peter Duffin there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
The Cargin men were not about to make further concession however and when John Mc Nabb’s punch across the area was punched to the back of the net by Kyle Johnston the door to recovery which seemed slightly ajar was slammed shut.
John Mc Nabb despatched another free over the bar to increase the lead and when the eye catching David Johnston came forward to add another the Toome men looked on the way to the decider as they had nipped away to lead 4-06 to 0-06 as the semi moved onwards into the last quarter.
The Bannsider’s looked down but they were not about to relinquish hope as they returned to attack mode and the ever accurate Niall Kelly supplied another couple of points.
The Cargin rear guard were standing tall however and although Tony Scullion did lead the way there was not a weak link to be perceived therein.
They dominated the concluding minutes and a well laid approach in the 58th minute which saw Tony Scullion, David Johnston and Enda Mc Grogan combine saw late replacement Conor Mc Larnon grab a goal to usher the Cargin men over the winning line and into the reserve Cup final at 5-06 to 0-08.
Cargin will square up to St John’s in the decider and the Toome men will need to be at their best to retain the trophy against the in-form Whiterock road side.
The Johnnies proved as 2-14 to 1-08 winners over Creggan but the nine point winning scoreline may well have flattered the Corrigan men
Little did separate the sides in the opening period and it took a late Loughlin Mc Curdy goal to ensure a 1-06 to 1-03 half time lead for St John’s.
Creggan did start the second period the better and indeed a couple of early points saw them within the minimum after 40 minutes.
A place in the final did seem up for grabs but in the event it was to be a second Loughlin Mc Curdy goal which settled the issue and as the Johnnies finished strongly they put distance between them to come home with a 2-14 to 1-08 winning advantage.
The final is scheduled for 14th June at a venue to be decided.
Referee Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)
Ronan Mc Guckin, Gerard Mc Corley, Kevin Mc Shane, Gerard Mc Corley, Brendan Laverty, Tony Scullion, David Johnston (0-01), Dermot Mc Guckin, Kyle Johnston (1-00), Oran Mc Guckin, Enda Mc Grogan (1-00), Ciaran Bradley (0-01), Peadar Mc Keever (0-02), John Mc Nabb (2-02), Oran Mc Auley.
Darren Craig for O Mc Guckin
Dualtach Johnston for D Mc Guckin
Conor Mc Larnon (1-00) for E Mc Grogan
Ciaran Kelly for P Mc Keever
Bryan Mc Cann, Ryan Mc Guigan, John Lewis, Adrian Mc Keever, Declan Mc Erlaine, Michael Kelly, Conor Magee, Stephen Kelly, Niall Kelly (0-05), Mark Graham, Eoin Doherty (0-01), Ryan Convery, Paddy Carey, Peter Duffin, Michael Hagan (0-02)
Coary Mc Laughlin for C Magee
Brian Mc Manus for M Hagan
Feargal O’ Kane for E Doherty