Senior Reserve Cup Final
St Galls 1-06-2-16 Creggan
Kevin Herron reports from Hightown
Goals in each-half from Fintan Burke and Lee Johnston ensured that Creggan made a terrific start to a weekend that they hope will see a football Championship double return to Staffordstown Road after defeating St Galls 2-16-1-06 at Hightown this evening.
Conal Murray drew first blood for St Galls but the Miltown side lost Caolan Chada to a straight red-card and Creggan made use of their numerical advantage with Burke netting to give his side a 1-08-1-05 lead at the interval.
St Galls only managed a solitary point in the second period as Creggan dominated with Lee Johnston bundling home a second from Leon Boones free.
Unfortunately tempers frayed as the game drew to a conclusion and both sides finished with 13-men apiece.
Declan and Dermot McCann departed for Creggan with Che Ferguson seeing the line for St Galls.
It had little impact on the final outcome though with Creggan already home and dry and worthy winners on the day.
Creggan were first off the mark on a sun-soaked afternoon in Glengormley as Killian Burke carried the ball forward and slipped it off to Dominic McAteer who guided it between the posts.
Conal Murray restored parity at the other end but McAteer doubled his tally in reply after some impressive work in defence by captain Jake McAteer.
St Galls hit the front after seven minutes as Conal Murray was played through on the angle and the midfielder confidently finished past Leon Boones to give his side a 1-01-0-02 advantage.
Fintan Burke hit back through a converted free and Creggan were back on terms after Diarmuid Mulholland shot over on the turn.
The turning point in the opening-half arrived just before the water-break as Caolan Chada hit out off the ball and after consultation with his officials referee Paul Burns dismissed the St Galls number nine.
An angled point from Liam McCann ensured Creggan held the lead for the third time but St Galls pulled level through Conn Doherty’s effort that squeezed inside the near post.
The sides traded further scores through Jake McAteer and Doherty before Creggan seized the initiative.
Back to back points from Diarmuid Mulholland and Kealan McCann was then followed up by a goal from Fintan Burke after a terrific and slick move to give them a 1-08-1-03 lead.
St Galls rallied before the break through Niall Burns- converting a free and then popping over after Ruairi Wilson’s placed ball dropped short to ensure that three-points separated the sides at the midway point.
Both sides converted early second-half frees through Fintan Burke and Niall Burns before Creggan took a firm grip on the game and kept St Galls scoreless at the other end.
Diarmuid Mulholland swung over his third point of the contest and Burke converted two further frees.
Midway through the second-half goalkeeper Leon Boones volunteered to take a free from midway which was right on the money with Lee Johnston appearing to get the decisive touch to open up a 2-12-1-06 lead.
Fintan Burke chalked up two further points- his first point from play was followed by a fourth converted free.
Liam McCann would float over a further point- his second of the contest before things soured over due to an off the ball incident.
Referee Paul Burns sought advice from his team of officials and dismissed substitutes Declan McCann and Che Ferguson and after further consultation gave Dermot McCann his marching orders as both sides were reduced to 13-men.
Fintan Burke would have the final say of the evening with an intelligent score from Liam McCann’s pass to wrap up a 2-16-1-06 victory which ensured the Reserve Cup would be heading to the Staffordstown Road this evening.
St Galls: L McComrick, E McCurdy, R Gilligan, J Hopkins, R Wilson, C Ryan, O Crawford, C Murray (1-01), C Chada, M Kane, N Burns (0-03, 0-02f), C Stinton, O Delaney, C Derby, C Doherty (0-02). Subs: M McKenna for O Delaney (21), L McIlroy for M Kane (32), C Ferguson for R Wilson (50), M Hopkins for C Derby (56).
Creggan: L Boones, J McAuley, B McAteer, J McAteer (0-01), K Burke, D McCann, E Carey-Small, O McCann, P McAuley, L McCann (0-02), D McAteer (0-02), S McAuley, K McCann (0-01), F Burke (1-07, 0-05f), D Mulholland (0-03). Subs: L Johnston (1-00) for D McAteer (11), J McAteer for S McAuley (46), D McCann for L Johnston (48), B McAteer for D Mulholland (49), S Donnelly for L McCann (58).
Referee: Paul Burns (St Comgalls)