ACFL Division 1
Creggan1-17 St. Brigid’s 2-8
County champions Creggan looked in a spot of bother when they trailed visitors, St. Brigid’s by a point at half time in this division 1 meeting at their Staffordstown Road ground but they staged a strong second half comeback to win comfortably in the end.
It was visitors St. Brigid’s who opened the scoring with a Conor McAleer point in the first minute with Kevin Small levelling matters for the home side in the third minute. McAleer edged the visitors in front once more before Jimmy McCann fired over to tie the contest for the second time.
Dominic McAteer edged the Kickham’s in front for the first time before Niall Lundy brought it all square for the third time but the Musgrave Park side were beginning to settle into a rhythm and struck with a great goal from Paul Bradley in the 13th minute.
The home side responded through Kevin Small and Eunan McAteer but another excellent passing move saw Bradley through for a second goal in the 17th minute and James Smith added a point to move the visitors six in front and they were looking good at this stage of the game.
Creggan finished the half strongly with Jimmy McCann 0-2 and Dominic McAteer on target to reduce the gap to three but they were opened up for the third time in the half when Bradley looked certain to complete his hat-trick but his fierce drive from close range cannoned off the crossbar and over for a point.
The home side found a late response and were rewarded for their efforts when Matthew Rogers scored a good goal at the other end to leave just a point between the sides as Eamon McAuley sounded the half time whistle.
Sean Duffin replaced Aidan Maguire in the Creggan side at the start of the second half and the county champions returned to the field a much more focused and determined side as the pushed up on their opponents to deny them space.
Within five minutes they had taken the lead as Matthew Rodgers, Kevin Small and Dominic McAteer fired over and with McAteer breaking up a number of attempted counter attacks by the opposition the Musgrave Park side were finding it difficult to put a meaningful attack together.
It was all Creggan at this stage as Rodgers and McAteer extended their lead and it took 19 minutes for the visitors to finally open their second half account when Conor McAleer pointed a free from 40 meters.
Tiernan McAteer announced his introduction as he split the posts following another timely McAteer interception with keeper Declan Heerey replying from another free for the visitors who were living on scraps at this stage of the game.
Their persistence nearly paid off however as they put an excellent move together and Patrick Finnegan looked in for a goal but his shot rebounded of an upright with substitute Marcus Lynch returning the rebound over the bar.
It was to prove to be their final score as Odhran McCann and Caolan McCann concluded the scoring with points for the Kickham’s to leave them comfortable six point winners in the end and the visitors left to rue those two missed goal opportunities.