Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship, Group One
O’Donovan Rossa 0-6 Erin’s Own, Cargin 0-12
Confident Cargin took a stride nearer another title when they had too much power and pace for Rossa in Sunday’s SFC round robin game at Rossa Park.
The Toome men started strongly and went three ahead through Tomás McCann, John Carron and Ronan Devlin. The veteran Kieran Close then stepped in and added three on the trot, two of them from frees and one from play and by the time referee Darren McKeown had blown for the first half water break they appeared to have things all but wrapped up.
It was all of 23 minutes before the champions conceded their first point of the season, Dominic McEnhill getting the score from a free, but it was to prove brief respite for Rossa as Cargin hit back with points from Ryan McKernan and John Carron to stretch their advantage to 0-8 to 0-1 by half time.
If Rossa were to get back into the game then they needed a good start to the second half, and to their credit they did just that as Stephen Beatty, Dominic McEnhill and Eoghan McMenamin slotted over early points to cut the gap to just four points. Tómas McCann came back with a point for Cargin to stretch the gap to five, but just before the second half water break the Shaw’s Road side hit back with a Stephen Beatty point to leave just four separating the sides going into the final quarter.
No doubt there were thoughts of Mayo’s great fightback against Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday night as the team’s retook their positions for the final quarter, any dreams Rossa may have had of emulating the men from the West were soon dashed as Benan Kelly knocked over a point and when Kevin McShane added another soon afterwards there was only going to be one winner.
There was one late chance for the home side when Thomas Morgan got in on goal, but his well struck shot rattled the Cargin crossbar and door was firmly shut.
ROSSA: M Byrne; C Orchin, J Cooley, G Walsh; N Crossan, R Gowdy, P Moyes; S Beatty (0-2), C McGettigan; SP Donnelly, C Fleming, T Morgan; E McMenamin (0-1), D McEnhill (0-3, 2 frees), M Mallon.
Subs: S Shannon for S Beatty (50), D Grego for E McMenamin (53), R Murray for J Cooley (53), R Currie for R Gowdy (60+1).
CARGIN: M Magill; G McCorley; K O’Boyle, R Gribbin; R Devlin (0-1), J Laverty, S O’Neill; K McShane (0-1), J Carron (0-2); C Bradley (0-1), P Shivers, D Johnston; K Close (0-3, 2 frees), R McKernan (0-1), T McCann (0-2, both frees).
Subs: B Kelly (0-1) for P Shivers (HT), E Quinn for K Close (HT), P McLaughlin for D Johnston (50), G McCann for J Carron (59), B Laverty for R Devlin (60+1).
REFEREE: Darren McKeown (St Gall’s)