Senior Football Championship (Round One)
Erin’s Own Cargin 3-15 O’ Donovan Rossa 0-06
Defending senior champions Cargin began their quest for a hat trick of titles at a grey Ahoghill venue on Friday evening in impressive fashion and in romping to a 3-18 to 0-06 win over Rossa the Toome men sounded warning that they mean business.
With the division one league title and the O’ Cahan cup already resting at ease in their Shore road abode John Brennan’s charges look to make it an unheralded clean sweep and in such form they will be difficult to rein in.
A dark and murky evening in Clooney hosting in the opening round of the senior championship and the defending champions looked composed and confident on the slippery surface and quickly out of the start blocks they had posted a trio of points in as many minutes.
The sharp shooting Kieran Close who was on the cusp of another fine individual performance had the opening score with Tomas Mc Cann, and John Carron following suit.
Rossa did open account with a 6th minute Deaglain Murphy point but the wing half forward’s score well directed from the left hand side provoked replies in kind with the Cargin men strong on the defensive and ultra slick on the counter as they were to nip into a seven point advantage by the 20th minute.
Mid-fielder John Carron helped himself to a couple sandwiching excellent scores from Michael Magill and Michael Mc Cann to make it 0-08 to 0-01.
Rossa employing a couple of sweepers were finding it difficult to gain penetration after utilising the short kick out and moving forward with Sean Finch and Antrim mid-fielder Stephen Beatty leading the charge.
Deaglain Murphy and Darren Grego added back to back points to suggest better to come and as Cargin lost sight of the target in the latter stages of the first period the Shaw’s road side took respite still in with a chance with the Erin’s Own men just five ahead at 0-08 to 0-03.
The second period saw the conditions brighten somewhat and the Cargin men who had dallied for a while in the sanctuary of the changing room began suitably refreshed and the opening phase saw them stride away in style.
Michael Magill and Ciaran Close added back to back points, and when the latter was sent through to despatch to the back of the Rossa net following a Paul Mc Cann, John Carron combination the Toome men were ten points ahead.
A Sean Pat Donnelly pointed free in the 41st minute and another from the hard grafting Stephen Beatty aided the Rossa cause ever slightly but the chink of light possibly sighted by the West Belfast men was soon to be extinguished as the Michael Mc Cann inspired Cargin men took over.
Michael Magill had fired between the posts and after Rossa had missed opportunity John Mc Nabb’s kick out found Michael McCann. He was quick to find his sibling Tomas in space and after the talented corner forward left a few defenders trailing in his wake he concluded with a delivery to the back of the net.
Cargin had moved into a 2-11 to 0-05 lead at the 45th minute and when Tomas Mc Cann crossed for Michael Mc Cann to punch to the back of the net a couple of minutes later that was that and the die was well and truly cast,
Rossa, to their credit tried to return fire, but in the event the well marshalled Cargin rear guard were not to allow further access and a 51st minute pointed free from Deaglain Murphy was to prove their lot.
The latter stages saw most activity centred on both the benches as Rossa gave introduction to several and Cargin employed a full quota as they looked to give air time to a full compliment.
Kieran Close was far from finished for the evening however as he concluded another impressive shift with four further scores to see the Cargin men breast the line and into the next round with a 3-15 to 0-06 scoreline.
Referee Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)
John Mc Nabb, Donnach Mc Keever, Marty Kane, David Johnston, Ronan Devlin, Justin Crozier, James Laverty, John Carron (0-03), Gerard Mc Cann, Kevin Mc Shane, Michael Mc Cann (0-02), Kieran Close (1-07), Paul Mc Cann, Michael Magill (1-02), Tomas Mc Cann (1-01)
Mark Kelly for K Mc Shane
Brendan Laverty for R Devlin
Michael Clarke for Michael Mc Cann
Ciaran Bradley for Paul Mc Cann
Enda Mc Grogan for Tomas Mc Cann
Tony Scullion for D Mc Keever
Conor Burns, Michael Morgan, Eoghan O’ Neill, Ciaran Orchin, Niall Crossan, Richard Gowdy, Sean Finch, Stephen Beatty (0-01), Gerard Walshe, Darren Grego (0-01), Chris Mc Guinness, Deaglain Murphy (0-03), Colm Fleming, S Pat Donnelly (0-01), Tom Morgan.
Donal Armstrong for T Morgan
Aidan Orchin for C Fleming
Joe Loughlin for S Pat Donnelly