Good start for champions St. Paul’s

ACHL Division 2B

Creggan 1-7 St. Paul’s 2-10

Report & Pics: Joe Rice

Last year’s Junior Hurling championship winners, St.Paul’s got their league campaign underway with a hard fought win over Kickham’s Creggan at Staffordstown on Saturday.  The home side fielded a youthful squad but the experience of the seasoned men of St.Paul’s showed as they raised the first white flag after the first 3 minutes and with 10 minutes gone they had registered an additional point and 2 goals.  It took the home side 7 minutes to register their first point and with 10 gone on the clock they were trailing by 2 goals.  

Caolan Crossan for the visitors opened proceedings with a fine point from play on the 3rd minute.  He followed this up with 3 finely taken frees on the 8th, 14th & 20th minute while his colleague, James Farrell, broke through on the 5th & 9th minute to blast the ball past Creggan’s net minder, Emmett Long.  The city side’s final score of the 1st half was a point from play from Caolan Duffin.  Things were not going well for the home side as they registered several wides from frees and had a few chances on goal, stopped by Ciaran Hetherington.  Morgan Nelson did manage to put 2 additional frees over on the 15th & 22nd minute, giving a half-time score of:  Creggan 0.04 v St.Paul’s 2.05.

After the short whistle it was Nelson who registered the first point of the 2nd half with a 20 metre free.  Caolan Duffin responded from the next puck out to increase his tally to 2 points.  Caolan Crossan was the man doing the damage to the home side putting a free over in the 38th minute followed by a point from play 4 minutes later.  His name sake, Caolan Duffin, increased the city side’s lead with a point in the 45th minute.  With 50 minutes gone in the contest, Creggan’s forward line were battling hard time and time again but they just couldn’t break St.Paul’s defence.  Both sharp shooters, Caolan Crossan for St.Paul’s and Morgan Nelson for Creggan, each missed several scoreable frees and the contest could have went either way. Creggan looked to be coming back into it with their half back line, Thomas McCann & Sam Maguire, scoring a point a piece 2 minutes apart while Tiernan McLarnon’s low range attempt at a goal came off the bottom of the inside of St.Paul’s upright.  Crossan for St.Paul’s increased his tally to 7 points with a free in the 57th minute.  Creggan responded with Owen Grant pulling on the ball at the edge of the square driving it past Hetherington, giving the Creggan management some encouragement but this was the last score of the contest and St.Paul’s sealed the deal –  St.Paul’s 2.10 v Creggan 1.07.

St.Paul’s:  No.1 Ciaran Hetherington, No.2 Conan Gallagher, No.3 Daire Stevenson, No.4 Sean Bradley, No.5 Kevin Gamble, No.6 Frank Sewell, No.7 Sean Lawell, No.8 Mark Munce, No.9 Ciaran O’Carroll, No.10 Caolan Crossan (0.07). No. 11 Declan Chapman, No.12 Caolan Duffin (0.03), No.13 Declan McGreevy, No.14 Kevin Murray, No.15 James Farrell (2.00), No.16 Gerard Maguire, No.17 Nial Martin, No.18 Aaron Carey, No.19 Michael Walsh, No.20 Aidan Nelson.

Kickham’s Creggan:  No.1 Emmett Long, No.2 Michael Maguire, No.3 Aidan Maguire, No.4 Dannan O’Hara, No.5 Sam Maguire (0.01), No.6 Thomas McCann (0.01), No.7 Ciaran Rice, No.8 Aidan McKeown, No.9 Keelan McCann, No.10 Dermot Mulholland, No.11 Lee Johnston, No.12 Sean Donnelly (0.01), No.13 Tieran McLarnon, No.14 Matthew Nelson, No.15 Morgan Nelson (0.04), No.16 Joe Smith, No.17 Owen Grant (1.00), No.18 Sean McAuley.

The best of enemies! Antrim team captain Conor McCann and corner back Stephen Rooney watch their clubs – Creggan and St Paul’s- battle it out in Saturday’s league game in Creggan. On Sunday they were part of the Saffrons team who beat Clare in the National League at Corigan Park.

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