O’Neill’s All County Minor Football League – Division 1
Con Magees 0-7 Creggan 0-7
By Aodh O’Loan
Glenravel & Creggan minors shared the spoils in Tuesday evening’s league game at Fr Maginn Park, in a match that will be remembered more for midges and misses than fine flowing football. A total of 26 wides was evidence of two ring rusty teams, emerging from exam slumber with a real need to re-calibrate the shooting boots.
Missing three key players who were still exam bound, Con Magees started the livelier and Eoin Hynds slotted over a fine point from play straight from the throw in. Both sides shot several wides before Hynds again slotted over a 45 on seven minutes to put his team two clear. Things were looking good for the home side when Rian Lennon pounced on a goalkeeping error from the resulting kick out to stretch the lead to three, and when the same player slotted over on 11 minutes the Con Magees were well in control of the game. However things were to change at that stage as from here on Glenravel would add just three further points in the next 50 mins of football.
Creggan were strong down the middle of the pitch and their impressive centre half back Eunan McAteer opened their account on 16 mins from play. Their equally impressive centre half forward Morgan Nelson added a second point on 22 mins from a close range free. Both forward lines were getting plenty of possession but a little wasteful and with poor shot selection the scoreboard remained quiet for another 10 mins. Callum Higgins broke the silence on 26 mins with a good score on the turn from play before Creggan’s midfielder Diarmuid Mulholland brought the first half scoring to conclusion on 28 mins from play to leave Glenravel two ahead on a 0-05 to 0-03 half time score line.
Creggan were first out of the traps in the 2nd half when they pointed from a free on four mins but Rian Lennon steadied the ship for the home side on 10 mins with another good score from play. Rian again pointed from a free and with 12 mins left on the clock he put his team three ahead 0-07 to 0-04. The smart money was on Con Magees at this stage but Creggan began a spell of dominance in the closing 10 mins McAteer and Mulholland pointed in quick succession to reduce the margin to the minimum with 6 mins left on the clock. A few nervous minutes followed before Creggan equalised on 30 mins to leave the sides level. At this point the green & gold were attacking in waves and but for a superb tackle and dispossession by captain Ruari Lennon in injury time we may have come away from this game with nothing.
A draw was probably a fair reflection of the hour’s football; both teams came away with something. Despite fielding depleted teams the “stand-ins” gave a really good account of themselves and put down a strong marker for first team place. Despite the wayward shooting there were some really good individual and team performances and the match time will have done both teams the world of good.
Many thanks to referee Karl Doherty who fought through the midges and kept the game flowing.
Pics by John McIlwaine
DIVISION 1 ROUND-UP
Dunloy sit joint top of the Minor Football League Division 1 after an emphatic 5-16 to 1-9 win over Cargin, though the young Cuchullains have played a game more than other teams on four point, All Saints, Aghagallon and St Gall’s, are also on four points, with St Brigid’s on three. All Saints travelled to Hannahstown on Tuesday evening and beat Lamh Dhearg by 3-15 to 0-12, while Aghagallon and St Gall’s had no games. In the other game in the Division Aldergrove travelled to St Paul’s and beat the Shaw’s Road side by 3-8 to 0-11.
In Division 2 Gort na Móna travelled to Corrigan Park and beat St John’s by 2-6 to 0-10, Sarsfields had a runaway win over St Enda’s at Hightown while Moneyglass beat Glenavy by 5-8 to 2-9