By Geordie McGuckin
Under-21 Football Championship (First Phase)
Erin’s Own Cargin 1-13 Tir na Nog Randalstown 5-11
The 2018 U21B champions Tir na nOg Randalstown signalled intent on their entry into the A competition this term, and underlined their potential with an impressive win over Cargin in Toome on Wednesday evening.
The home side following an ice breaking win gained at Glenravel at the week-end did stay in touch with the Whitehill men in the opening period with a 21st minute Emmett Murray goal aiding their visitors to a 1-07 to 0-06 lead but when replacement Aiden Toland found the net with virtually his first touch in the second half Damien Hagen’s charges were on their way.
Cargin did try to keep tabs with their guests as the second period progressed but when Dara Fegan’s lofted effort went all the way to the net in the 41st minute and Aiden Toland added his second and fellow replacement Cormac Devlin following suit the die was cast.
The home side continued in pursuit of scores and they were rewarded with a 53rd minute goal of their own, fashioned in style before Ryan Toal delivered to the net but at the end it was a consolation score as Tir na nOg strode over the winning line with a 5-11 to 1-13 advantage and the points secured.
Cargin having opened account with a win at Glenravel on Saturday started well under the illuminations at Toome with a 2nd minute Pat Shivers pointed free following a foul on Jamie Gribbin but such advantage was not to linger.
Tir na nOg opened account with a 6th minute Aaron McNeilly point and moving the leather confidently the Whitehill lads had nipped away into a 0-5 to 0-02 advantage by the end of the opening quarter.
Jamie Gribbin had added a point for the home side but as the ever accurate Aaron McNeilly hoisted a trio of white flags and Ciaran Dobbin weighed in with another the Randalstown lads looked in charge.
The home side were struggling to retain their own kick outs as Barry McCormick ruled the central zone and it was the big man’s fetch and deliver that was to lead to the opening major. The Cargin net-minder Michael Mc Guckin did well to thwart Stephen Carey but Emmett Murray pounced on the rebound to steer home.
The visitors had moved into a 1-07 to 0-03 lead before Cargin got their act together in the latter stages of the opening period which they dominated and points from Pat Shivers, Shay Bovill, and Ciaran Bradley ensured the home attendance retained hope with the Tir na nOg advantage reduced to 1-07 to 0-06 at the short blast.
Cargin started the second half with intent but after a promising advance on the opposition’s post by wing half back Ruairi McCann went just wide of the posts the resultant kick out saw Tir Na Nog replacement Aiden Toland steer the ball into the net at the other end after a mix up in the home defence opened the door.
Points apiece from Aaron McNeilly and Ciaran Dobbin increased the advantage for the Whitehill men but Cargin responded as Shay Bovill raised back to back white flags at the other end. Back came the visitors and when a speculative Dara Feagan delivery sailed to the back of the net shortly after the die was cast.
The Whitehill men had gone into a 3-09 to 0-08 lead and only the most ardent optimist in the green and white would have anticipated a Cargin revival.
Cargin kept battling though and points by Kyle Johnston, Shay Bovill, and Pat Shivers ensured hope remained but that hope was quickly dashed as Aiden Toland and Cormac Devlin replied with goals for the Whitehill side.
Tir na nOg were in the calm waters afforded by a 5-09 to 0-11 lead but the Toome lads kept going to the end and after Jamie Gribbin added a point, a flowing move involving Gribbin, Joe Maybin, Pat Shiver, and Shay Bovill saw Ryan Toal finish to the back of the net.
An excellent score but the 56th minute strike arrived as consolation with Barry Mc Cormick’s injury time point ushering the Randalstown lads over the line with a 5-11 to 1-13 winning scoreline to underline their credentials as contenders in the competition.
Cargin: Michael J Mc Guckin, Sean og Quinn, Adam Thornton, Christopher Bateson, Ruairi Mc Cann, Ronan Gribbin, Mark Keegan, Kyle Johnston (0-01), Joe Maybin, Shay Bovill (0-04), Ciaran Bradley (0-02), Ben Dobbin, Sean Mc Auley, Pat Shivers (0-03), Jamie Gribbin (0-03)
Orrin Johnston for S Mc Auley
Ryan Toal (1-00) for A Thornton
Sean Mc Larnon for B Dobbin
Tir na Nog: Sean P Mc Atamney, Sean Duffin, Peter Cullen, Declan Mallon, Daniel Martin, Darren Mc Cormick, Eamon og Mc Allister, Barry Mc Cormick (0-01), Michael Toland, Aaron Mc Neilly (0-06), Dara Feagan (1-00), Ciaran Dobbin (0-03), Stephen Carey, Emmett Murray (1-00), C O’Neill
Aiden Toland (2-00) for S Carey
Cormac Devlin (1-00) for M Toland
Nathan Mc Kee for C O’ Neill
Referee Gerard Dougan (Kickham’s)