Andersonstown SC IHC Group 1
Sarsfields 2-22 Creggan 4-17
Report and Pics: Joe Rice
Creggan secured victory at the Bear Pit but there were no winners as the Loughshore side went into this game needing to win by 2 points and the Paddies by a few more. In the dying seconds Creggan seemed to have got over the line but a Niall McKenna 20-metre free that sailed low into Emmet Long’s net put paid to their chances. The visitors, 1-point ahead, needed 2 points to secure progress in the Championship but they just couldn’t manage to break the Paddies’ defence.
Sarsfields dominated the first 5 minutes and hit a number of wides wide before Creggan opened the scoring with a fine point from play from Sam Maguire but Kevin McKernan responded to level proceedings with 8 minutes gone. Seconds later Kevin Rice broke through to get the first of Creggan’s goals hammering the ball low into the net. It was all Creggan for the next 7 minutes with Liam McCann registering a point from play and Conor McCann scoring 3 frees in succession. The Paddies’next score came in the 15th minute with a point from play but Creggan replied with a second goal when Oran McCann broke through Sarsfield’s defence blasting the ball into the net. Undeterred, the Paddies scored the next 3 points – 2 from Kevin McKernan and 1 from Niall Carson. With 10 minutes to go to the short whistle, both teams exchanged scores with Conor McCann adding 3 points, 2 from frees, to his tally while Niall McKernan and Kevin McKernan added 3 points from play and Ryan Carson raised the green flag for the homeside.
At Half Time, the visitors would have been disappointed to be only 1 point ahead while Sarsfields were only starting to find their form. At the short whistle, Creggan’s confidence must have grew with Gary Lennon seeing a straight ‘red’ for an off-the-ball incident involving Liam McCann. McCann did follow Lennon minutes later for a high tackle giving both teams 14 players each for the 2nd Half.
Sarsfields started the 2nd Half converting a 65 to level things while Creggan took the next 2 scores from play from Conor McCann before Niall McKernan and Ryan Carson levelled proceedings with 38 minutes gone. The Loughshore side then hit a purple patch with scores from Tiernan McLarnon, a 65 from Conor McCann & a 2nd goal from Rice which saw David Ward, the Paddies’s keeper end in the back of the net. Sarsfields were beginning to turn the screw however and scored the next 3 points through Ryan Carson, Daniel McKernan and Mark Rea to put the City side in front for the 1st time.
Conor McCann responded for Creggan converting 2 frees in the 59th and 61st minute to put Creggan 1 point ahead and two minutes later Rice got his 3rd goal and with 7 minutes left to play the visitors looked to be home and dry. It was not to be however as Sarsfields responded with the next 3 points, 2 from Niall McKenna and 1 from Kevin McKernan to keep the homeside in the game. Kevin Rice and Oran McCann responded with points for the visitors to leave them leading by 5 points and they appeared to have done enough to qualify but Sarsfield’s replied with a late goal from a 20-metre free from Niall McKernan who found the right had corner of the Creggan net. The last score of the game was a point from Kevin Rice to leave the minimum between the teams but not enough to send his side into the next stage of the Championship.
Both sides will look back on this game with regret as both had chances to win it and will reflect on those chances and what might have been. It’s a pity that the highest scoring and best game of the championship couldn’t provide a qualifier but in the strangest of times that’s how it turned out. Referee, Kevin Parks, had a tight grip on the game and apart from the 2 red cards he wasn’t troubled that much.
FINAL SCORE: Creggan 4.17 – Sarsfields 2.22.
Creggan: No.1 Emmet Long, No.2 Jake McAteer, No.3 Donal Carey, No.4 Aidan Maguire, No.5 Liam McCann (0.1), No.6 Ciaran Rice, No.7 Ethan Carey Small, No.8 Sam Maguire (0.1), No.9 Thomas McCann (0.1), No.10 Conor McCann (0.10), No.11 Kelan McCann, No.12 Kevin Small, No.13 Tiernan McLarnon (0.1), No.14 Kevin Rice (3.2), No.15 Oran McCann (1.2), No.16 Dermot Carey, No.17 James Carey, No.18 Sean Donnelly, No.19 Ollie Duffin, No.20 Lee Johnston, No.21 Michael Maguire, No.22 James Dougan, No.23 Aran Hughes, No.24 Enda Maguire, No.25 Mark McCann, No.26 Dermot Mulholland, No.27 Danan O’Hara, No.28 Niall McAuley.
Sarsfields: No.1 David Ward, No.2 Declan Laverty, No.3 Malachy Campbell, No.4 Kevin Ward, No.5 Jack Daniels, No.6 C. Caldwell, No.7 Jim McKernan (0.), No.8 Kevin McKernan (0.8), No.10 Daniel McKernan (0.1), No.11 Niall McKernan (1.6), No.12 Daniel McKernan Snr, No.13 Ryan Carson (1.4), No.14 Mark Rea (0.1), No.15 Caolan McKernan (0.1), No.16 Paul Carson, No.17 Gary Lennon, No.18 Aaron Stewart, No.19 David Johnston, No.20 Daragh McGuinness, No.22 Niall McAlea, No.23 Tomas Doherty, No.24 James Cunningham.