By Brendan McTaggart



Creggan’s Conor Small is chased by Gort na Mona defender Conor Connolly during Wednesday nights league match.  Small would end the hour with 0-4 to his name helping the Kickhams to a five point victory.


Creggan took the spoils on Wednesday evening in this league encounter but they had to withstand an almighty comeback from Gort na Mona before sealing victory. For 53 minutes, it was all going to plan for Kickhams. Neither side were at their best, and were wasteful in front of the target, but Creggan were worthy of their 13 point lead when Oran McCann landed his sixth point of the match. The Gorts had other ideas and clawed their way back into the match with three goals in as many minutes, points from all angles and looked like they were going to pull off a dramatic victory. The minimum separated the sides when Creggan scored their decisive goal. Full forward James Dougan landing the knockout punch for Kickhams and while Conor Small added gloss to the score line with his fourth point of the match soon after to give the home side a five point victory.
Gort na Mona settled into the contest quickly and held a one point lead by the end of the first quarter. In reality the visitors to the Staffordstown Road venue should have been further ahead but their composure let them down when it mattered most in front of the posts. The home side went through the gears though and hit a purple patch. Four points in two minutes, two each for Conor and Oran McCann gave the home side momentum before Conor McCann bagged the first goal of the game. The sliotar was sent in long by Olly Duffin and McCann rose highest before driving at the Gort defence and beating his namesake in the visitors goals for pace with a rasping drive.
Creggan had increased their advantage to eight points when they scored their third goal, Conor McCann again with the finish and the assist from Oran McCann, but the chance owed much to the tenacity of Liam McCann in defence to turn over possession.
Patrick McCaffrey and Conor Small exchanged scores in injury time to leave the half time score Creggan 2-10 Gort na Mona 0-4.

Much like the first half, Gort na Mona started the second half brightly but again their profligacy was waning any momentum they could get built. Padraig McHugh and Patrick McCaffrey were starting to dominate in their respective positions but Creggan began to look like they were going through the motions, feeling like the game was won.
With the sides trading scores and the visitors not making any headway into the Creggan lead, Gort finally gathered momentum. Substitutes Gary Doyle and Brendan Burns were having an impact for the Turf Lodge men but it was an error in the Creggan defence that yielded the first goal. Mark Rea sent a high ball to the edge of the square that everyone missed, allowing Padraig Fryers to capitalise in the 54th minute. The Gort corner forward added another point soon after before the visitors scored their second goal. Sean Doyle sending a long ball to the edge of the square but Brendan Prenter must have taken his eye off the sliotar at the last moment and dropped the ball into his net. It was harsh on the Creggan ‘keeper who was having a great game under the high ball up until that point. The third Gort goal came after a long clearance from Connor McCann and the persistence of Fryers. The Gort forward made a nuisance of himself and sent the sliotar towards Dominic Collins. Collins pulled first time and sent the sliotar high into the Creggan net giving Prenter no chance with a fizzing finish. A point from Doyle moment later and McCaffrey’s sixth point of the match meant that Gort had scored 3-3 in the space of six minutes and the wheels were in danger of coming off the Creggan ‘wagon’. The home side still lead but with just one point between the sides, Gort na Mona looked the more likely to take the spoils.
Creggan ended the Gort charge in injury time though when full forward James Dougan got on the end of a long ball and sent the sliotar beyond Gort ‘keeper Connor McCann with the deftest of touches for Kickhams third goal to seal the two points on offer.
Both sides have home games in the next round of fixtures, Creggan host St Teresa’s while Eoghan Ruadh make the long journey from Dungannon to Turf Lodge on Sunday July 16.

CREGGAN: Brendan Prenter; Enda Maguire; Aidan Maguire; Ciaran Rice; Frank McAuley; Aidan McKeown; Liam McCann; Michael Maguire; Oliver Duffin; Conleth McGrenaghan; Oran McCann; Thomas McCann; Conor Small; James Dougan; Conor McCann

GORT NA MONA: Connor McCann; Brendan Cousins; Christopher Devlin; Conor Connolly; Neill Henry; Padraig McHugh; Mark Rea; Patrick McCaffrey; Declan Hughes; Thomas McCaffrey; Sean Doyle; Ciaran Kelly; Padraig Fryers; Christopher McErlean; Dominic Collins

CREGGAN: Conor McCann 2-5; Oran McCann 0-6 (4 frees); Conor Small 0-4; James Dougan 1-00; Thomas McCann 0-1

GORT NA MONA: Patrick McCaffrey 0-6 (5 frees); Sean Doyle 1-1; Padraig Fryers 1-1; Dominic Collins 1-00; Declan Hughes 0-1; Thomas McCaffrey 0-1
Referee: Ryan O’Reilly (Glenravel)





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