Close goal seals 3-in a row for Cargin

A summary of today’s SFC Final T Kelly Park, Portglenone. Afull report and photographs will appear on the site later tonight

Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Final 

Cargin 1-22-1-19 Creggan (AET)

Kevin Herron reports from Kelly Park 

A goal from Kieran Close three minutes into the second period of extra-time sealed a 3rd successive Championship triumph for Cargin after they saw off neighbours Creggan 1-22-1-19 at Kelly Park this afternoon. 

The champions made a rip-roaring start and established a 0-04 lead inside of seven minutes. 

All coming courtesy of Tomas McCann, the lively full-forward hit the opener inside of 20 seconds from Pat Shivers pass, converted two frees and added an advanced mark. 

Ruairi McCann missed two early frees but was successful in getting his side off the mark at the third time of asking. 

Jamie and Conor McCann landed further scores and Conor Small levelled the scores on 16 minutes. 

Momentum was with the Staffordstown Road outfit as Tiernan McAteer hit back to back scores to edge his side ahead for the first time and a further score from Conor McCann was his side’s seventh on the trot to open up a 0-07-0-04 lead. 

Pat Shivers and Ruairi McCann traded points before Cargin levelled with three successive points through Ciaran Bradley and curling scores from Pat Shivers and Paul McCann. 

Kevin Rice and Shivers were on target before the break and in injury-time Ciaran Bradley was denied by a terrific Oisin Kerr save with the follow-up blasted wide as the sides were level 0-09 apiece.

 Creggan regained the lead early in the second half through substitute Fintan Burke but Cargin hit the front for the first time since the 7th minute through points from Mick McCann and Brendan Lavery. 

Ruairi McCann levelled with a fine point from play and then converted his second free of the game to give his side a 0-12-0-11 lead. 

The pendulum swung back in Cargin’s direction with successive Ciaran Bradley points although Ruairi McCann converted a straight forward free to level once more. 

Creggan opened up a two point advantage through a converted Jamie McCann free and McCann would land a second on the bounce after weaving away from Pat Shivers. 

Cargin spurned a second goal chance as Kerr denied Tomas McCann but Shivers floated over a point from the follow-up. 

Tomas McCann then drew the sides level with a free and 60-seconds later converted another to give the Champions a 0-16-0-15 lead in injury-time. 

There was to be late drama though as Creggan were afforded the opportunity pull level and Ruairi McCann dually took the chance as extra-time was required for the second year running. 

Extra-time: 

Cargin drew first blood in injury-time through another McCann free but Ruairi McCann landed the equaliser and substitute Paddy Coey edged his side ahead. 

They were dealt a blow however as Eunan McAteer was black carded for a trip and Jamie Gribbin landed an equaliser. 

But at the midway point it was 14-man Creggan who had their noses in front as David McGuckin popped over a late point to make it 0-19-0-18. 

The turning point in the game arrived three minutes into the second period as Jamie Gribbin picked out Kieran Close who shot low into the corner of the net. 

Close could have profited from a poor kick-out moments later but ended up grabbing a point and Kevin O’Boyle looked to have added the insurance point. 

But Creggan threw themselves a lifeline when Aidan McKeown shot through a crowded goalmouth to the net to put the game in the melting pot again at 1-21-1-19. 

O’Boyle would have the final say though and grabbed the games final score as Cargin held-on to win 1-22-1-19 at the end of an absorbing encounter. 


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