Senior Reserve Football Cup semi-final
Lámh Dhearg 1-10-2-12 Creggan
Kevin Herron reports from Woodlands
First-half goals from Conor McAuley and Liam McCann had Creggan in the box-seat as the Staffordstown Road outfit ensured that hopes of a Senior Football and Reserve Championship double remained in-tact thanks to a 2-12-1-10 win over Lámh Dhearg at Woodlands this afternoon.
Having topped Group 1 of the Senior Reserve Championship it was Creggan who were expected to progress to the final but they fell behind to early scores from Ryan Straney- the first after receiving a lay-off from Francie Dugan before Straney converted a free for a tug-back on Sean-Paul Gibson.
Kealan McCann got his side off the mark for the afternoon and Dominic McAteer drew the sides level after popping the ball over from Mark Dougan’s quick-free.
Creggan hit the front through a second Kaelan McCann point and 60-seconds later had the ball in the net.
Tiernan Burke got in behind the Hannahstown defence and fisted the ball across the face of goal where Conor McAuley threw himself towards the loose ball and bundled it in to give his side a 1-03-0-02 lead.
A further point from Dominic McAteer doubled his personal account for the half and better was to follow on the 22nd minute.
Mark Dougan planted a high ball into the danger area and Liam McCann managed to get on the end of the loose ball and poked past Mark McIlvenny to make it 2-04-0-02.
Daire Larkin conjured up a fine point in reply with Ryan Straney converting his second free of the afternoon to close the gap to two-goals at the break (2-04-0-04).
Creggan opened the second-half scoring through Kealan McCann after John McAuley claimed an advanced mark.
Francis Dugan replied after Eoin Matassa offloaded a high ball into his direction and Dugan would net shortly after to offer the Lámhs a glimmer of hope as Creggan’s lead was halved (2-05-1-05).
Points from Dominic McAteer and Frank McAuley had Creggan back on the front foot with Killian Burke and a double from namesake Tiernan opening up an eight-point gap with little under ten minutes remaining.
Cormac Hannon confidently replied but Tiernan Burke converted a free and an advanced mark to move his side 2-12-1-06 in front.
Lámh Dhearg ended the game with four successive scores through Eoin Matassa, Cormac Hannon and a Francis Dugan double but it was too little too late as Creggan had five-points to spare in the end and meet St Galls in the Reserve Cup decider.
Lámh Dhearg: M McIlvenny, P Larkin, M Lynch, C Nolan, SP Gibson, D Straney, D Smith, P Mervyn, R Straney (0-03, 0-02f), E Matassa (0-01), A Byrne, R Diamond, D Larkin (0-01), F Dugan (1-03), C Hannon (0-02, 0-01f). Subs: D Dunne for C Nolan (HT), R Murray for D Smith (43), A Ferris for D Larkin (50).
Creggan: L Bonnes, J McAuley, M Dougan, J McAteer, K Burke (0-01), C McAuley (1-00), E Carey-Small, O McCann, P McAuley, L McCann (1-00), D McAteer (0-03), F McAuley (0-01), K McCann (0-03), T Burke (0-04, 0-02f), D Mulholland. Subs: L Johnston for F McAuley (43), S McAuley for L McCann (55).
Referee: Paul Burns (St Comgalls)