St John’s last title came in 1998

St-Johns

Antrim Senior Football Championship final preview 2017

St John’s 1-8 Cargin 1-7

Cargin’s last title came at the expense of Cargin when the Corrigan Park side beat the boys from the Loughshore in the 1989 final at Casement Park. There was a touch of good fortune about the goal that won the game for the Johnnies that September day. Trailing by a point Enda McAtamney went for the point that would have drawn St John’s level. His shot appeared to be on target but it came back off the upright and straight into the hands of full-forward Brendan Mackin, who took full advantage of his good fortune to drill home the winning goal. The goal put the Johnnies two points up as the game entered injury time and though Cargin got one last chance to grab victory when JC Devlin broke through in the final seconds, but his attempt for the match winning goal skimmed the top of the winners’ crossbar and the chance had gone.

Cargin had a host of early chances but wayward shooting cost them dearly and when Enda McAtamney got St John’s up and running with a pointed free it was quickly added to by Brendan Mackin and Paddy Curran to put the Johnnies three clear. It was all of eighteen minutes before Cargin opened their account with an Eddie Quinn point and when Quinn and Shenney McQuillan added two more the sides were all square. Gavin Scullion missed a chance to edge them in front but his shot came back off the woodwork and St John’s took advantage of the lucky break as Mackin pointed to give them a one point lead at the break.

When Eddie Quinn pointed early in the second half Cargin were back on terms and when Scullion pointed from a free they were ahead for the first time. When Eamon McCann grabbed his team’s only goal soon afterwards it appeared that Cargin were on their way to their third title but St John’s hit back with points from Enda McAtamney and Gearoid Adams to close the gap to two. Brenda Mackin had a glorious chance to put St John’s ahead but he blasted over with the goal at his mercy to leave just a point in it and it appeared that Lady  Luck had smiled on the South West Antrim side. However all was to change in the final minutes when Mackin was gifted a goal opportunity and the full forward made no mistake as he rattled the Cargin net to seal his team’s 24th title.

St John’s

Brian McNulty, Locky McCurdy, Mark Bohill, Ciaran Anderson, Gearoid Adams (0-2), John Kelly, Darren Swail, James Murphy Gary Heeney, Paddy Curran (0-1), Enda McAtamney (0-2), Donal Kennedy, Packie Nolan, Brendan Mackin (1-3), Jimmy Wilson.

Subs – Enda McKenna for Nolan

Cargin

Kevin McNally, Martin Logan, Dessie McGuckian, Matthew Gribbon, Martin McAuley, Michael Johnston, Paul Craig, Shenney McQuillan (01), Ciaran O’Neill, Kevin Doyle (0-1), Eamon McCann (1-0), Dermot McPeake, Declan Gallagher, Eddie Quinn (0-3), Gavin Scullion

Subs JC Devlin (0-1) for NcCann, Raymond McGuckian for McPeake

Referee – Raymond Higgins (Glenravel)

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