by Geordie McGuckin
All County Minor Football League Division 1
Erin’s Own Cargin 2-14 O’ Donovan Rossa 1-09
The unbeaten run in the minor league previously enjoyed by Rossa came to a halt on Wednesday evening when they were failed to cope with a lively Cargin side in an enjoyable sixth round encounter at Toome.
The Shaw’s road side who have been most impressive thus far in 2017 and indeed when they led by a couple of points shortly into the second period with the wind assistance, they looked in charge but J C Devlin’s charges were not to be denied, and dominating the last quarter, and aided by goals from Ronan Gribbin and Shay Bovill, they breasted the winning line eight points to the good.
Cargin had the brisk southerly breeze behind in the opening period but the visitors were first to strike first as corner back Martin Kavanagh came forward to split the posts.
The defender had moved forward in the early stages to pick up a loose ball and forward between the posts, but the home side were quick in their response as Shay Bovill replied in kind within a minute
Wing half forward Bovill added another a minute thereafter to see the Toome side in front but Rossa mid-fielder Eoghan Mc Menamin, one of the heroes of Antrim U17 hurlers Celtic Challenge win at the weekend, had the game tied when he delivered over in the sixth minute.
The opening few minutes were close but Cargin were about to gain control and by the end of the opening quarter they were three points ahead as Jamie Gribbin took charge.
The corner forward delivered a 30 metre free over the crossbar and when both Ronan Gribbin and Christopher Bateson delivered long he added another brace.
The three in a row from the impressive county minor, who looks a fine prospect indeed, enabled the home side to move 0-05 to 0-02 ahead.
Cargin continued to make the running for a term with the defence standing tall and after Pat Shivers added a point following a crisp approach, a break through the middle and subsequent point by young Paudie Mc Laughlin saw them five clear and seemingly going well at 0-07 to 0-02.
Rossa were about to move up a gear however and Hugh Mc Gettigan’s lads were to dominate the remainder of the period.
The city looked for mid-fielder Eoghan Mc Menamin to lead and indeed the central man did add a couple of points in the last phase but a hugely impressive approach made by wing half forward Dara Matthews saw him collect a fine goal.
Paudie Mc Laughlin added a point to Cargin’s total and the 16 year olds score ensured the home side retained a one point advantage at the break, 0-08 to 1-04.
Rossa started the second half aided by the elements and apparently meaning busines, laying siege to the Cargin posts in the opening minutes, and white flags were raised in turn by Manus Smith, Eoghan Mc Menamin, and Mark Cunningham which saw them claim a 1-07 to 0-08 advantage.
The visitors looked in charge but back came the Cargin lads and a brace of points from the ever accurate Jamie Gribbin saw them back on terms again.
The ever impressive Mc Menamin hoisted another white flag in the 44th minute to regain the advantage for Rossa, but such was not to remain for long as back came Cargin with a goal from Ronan Gribbin as the centre forward rose highest to claim a Shay Bovill delivery before directing the leather into the corner of the net.
The Erin’s Own boys were now ahead and they had no intention of relinquishing that lead and boosted by another Gribbin major they now had a firm grip on the game.
The visitors were under siege and under pressure as the home side added a further score as replacement Ben Dobbin raised white.
The substitute had replaced county minor Joe Maybin who looked at black a few minutes earlier and his score opened up a four point lead at the 53rd minute.
Rossa required a score to keep their fading hopes alive but the home defence were proving unyielding in their duties and as full back Adam Thornton intercepted and Ruairi Mc Cann delivered another Jamie Gribbin point saw the Cargin lead up to five, 1-13 to 1-08 at the 55th minute.
The end was in sight and indeed the die was about to be cast as a slick combination involving Paudie Mc Laughlin and Jamie Gribbin saw the former brought down inside the box with a penalty the verdict.
A double edged sword as punishment for the visitors as corner back Martin Kavanagh looked at a second yellow, and the inevitability of a red to follow with Shay Bovill delivering the spot kick to the back of the net as consequence.
The issue was resolved and after Eoghan Mc Menamin added what was a consolation score with an injury time point Pat Shivers had the last say as he split the posts at the other end shortly thereafter to see the Erin’s Own side cross the line at 2-14 to 1-09.
Referee P Mc Keever (Casement’s)
M J Mc Guckin, Sean Og Quinn, Adam Thornton, Adam Loughran, Sean Mc Larnon, Odhran Lynn, Ruairi Mc Cann, Mark Keegan, Christopher bateson, Shay Bovill (1-02), Paudie Mc Laughlin (0-03), Sean O’ Neill, Pat Shivers, Ronan Gribbin (1-00), Jamie Gribbin (0-07).
Joe Maybin for S og Quinn
Ben Dobbin (0-01) for J Maybin (black card)
Michael Burns, Mark Kavanagh, Jack Morris, Paudie Cullen, Manus Smith (0-01), Conal Mc Donald, Eoghan Mc Menamin (0-05), Cormac Mc Gettigan, Michael Close, Martín Mc Cashin, Darath Mather, Ryan O’ Neill, Mark Cunningham (0-01).
Mark Mc Enhill for C Mc Donald