U-17 ACFL Division 3
Creggan 1-09 – 6-11 Lámh Dhearg
Kevin Herron reports from Staffordstown Road
Six-second half goals saw Lámh Dhearg maintain their 100 percent winning start at the expense of Creggan with a 6-11 – 1-09 win on the Staffordstown Road on Thursday evening.
It was a bit of a slow burner with both sides guilty of poor shooting in the opening quarter of the game which looked to be heading for a scoreless stalemate until Ciaran McLaughlin burst forward from defence and had the composure to steer his shot between the posts for the opening score in the last act before the water break.
Creggan got back on terms when Peadar McGuckian slipped the ball across to Oisin McAteer who levelled.
The sides would trade further points, Kieran Fay-Kelly sent a quick free towards Aidan McCague who picked off the score, but Peadar McGuckian advanced forward and rode a few challenges before splitting the posts.
It was the hosts who forged the first goal chance – Fionn Bradley sent a high ball forward and Callum McCann got in behind the Lámh Dhearg defence and dragged his low effort wide.
Lámh Dhearg took a grip on proceedings before the break, Kieran Fay-Kelly won the break ball from Rhys Camlin’s kick out and sent the ball down the channel to Adam Murray – who cut in towards the target and fisted the ball over.
Aidan McCague then turned provider for a superb Eoin Campbell point and Campbell notched up another point following nice approach play from Sean McCarthy.
Creggan battled back before the break and reduced the deficit to a single point. Oisin McAteer found the darting run of Ryan O’Neill for a reply with McGuckian and McAteer combining for the second time and McAteer swinging over his second of the half.
Lámh Dhearg would extend their lead at the break after Evan Stanley was tugged back and the resulting free was converted by Kieran Fay-Kelly to ensure his side went in with a 0-06-0-04 lead.
The hosts made a bright opening after the break and back-to-back scores levelled proceedings.
Peadar McGuckian arrowed a shot goalward that cannoned off the bar and went over and Eoin McLernon dragged his side level for the third time with a hard-earned point.
The opening goal of the game arrived shortly after, and it fell to the visitors – Adam Murray got in behind and rocketed a ferocious drive to the net to make it 1-06-0-06.
Creggan almost hit back immediately with two wonderful goal opportunities, though Rhys Camlin made a terrific save to deny McGuckian and another effort flashed past the post soon after.
The goal chances continued to fall as Aidan McCague was denied by the base of the post, but he would turn provider for the next score- a third point of the evening for Eoin Campbell.
Campbell was next to turn provider as he slipped the ball through to half-time substitute Calum Fegan-Lappin and he finished low to the net to move the visitors 2-07-0-06 ahead.
Back-to-back scores from Fionn Bradley and Oisin McAteer cut the deficit to five, but Lámh Dhearg inched further in front with their third goal before the second half water break.
Ciaran McLaughlin did much of the spade-work and joined the attack before sliding the ball through to Eoin Campbell whose shot was scuffed – though Creggan keeper Paul McNally was unable to keep it out.
The visitors picked up where they left off before their brief breather, Fay-Kelly claimed a kick-out and played into the path of Campbell for a point.
Aidan McCague followed up with a fisted effort over before another goal arrived. Ciaran McLaughlin drove forward from the back and played a magnificent pass into the path of Eoin Campbell who cut-in and played it across to Adam Murray who fisted the ball to the net and made it 4-09-0-08.
McCague made it back-to-back points to bring his personal tally to 0-03 for the evening and a fifth goal followed for his side in the immediate aftermath. A high ball was knocked down and Adam Murray was alert to prod home to the net.
Oisin McAteer weaved his way forward and yielded a point and response and shortly after Eoin McLernon fed Peadar McGuckian who netted for the hosts in what was little but scant consolation at this stage (5-10-1-09).
Lámh Dhearg weren’t finished though as Eoin Campbell curled over his fifth point of the evening- he wasn’t finished there however as he netted the game’s final goal in the aftermath.
Aidan Morrow claimed the resulting kick-out from Paul McNally and his attempted lob clipped the crossbar and fell into the hands of Declan O’Connor who unselfishly offloaded to Campbell who finished to the net to ensure his side ran out 6-11-1-09 winners in the end.
Creggan: P McNally, J Quinn, C Hughes, E McElwee, E McLernon (0-01), K Robb, C O’Boyle, P McGuckian (1-02), F Bradley (0-01), T McCann, O McAteer (0-04), C McCann, C Johnston, D McLaughlin, R O’Neill (0-01). Subs: C Johnston for R O’Neill (13), S McCann for D McLaughlin (43), JP O’Neill for C Johnston (56).
Lámh Dhearg: R Camlin, D Young, D Breen, D McGreevy, C McLaughlin (0-01), E Stanley, C Camlin, S McCarthy, A Morrow, A McCague (0-03), K Fay-Kelly (0-01f), E Campbell (2-05), D O’Connor, A Murray (3-01), E Mackey. Subs: C Fegan-Lappin (1-00) for E Mackey (HT), E Mackey for D Breen (42).
Referee: Stephen Higgins (Tir na Nog)