Creggan left to rue missed chances

Homefit Antrim All-County Football League Division 1

O’Donovan Rossa 1-7 Creggan 0-10

Paul McIntyre reports from Rossa Park

Dominic McEnhill’s injury time point gave Rossa a deserving share of the spoils at Rossa Park on Wednesday evening.

Just when it looked like Creggan goalkeeper Oisin Kerr was going to be the match winner with two late frees, up stepped McEnhill to pop a free over after Liam Carr was fouled.

Defeat would’ve been a harsh pill for Hugh McGettigan’s side to swallow. Down a number of regulars, Rossa may not have created as many chances as the visitors, but they more than matched the county champions in the endeavour and work rate department.

For Gerard McNulty’s side however, they would feel that it was a point that got away.

Over the sixty plus minutes they coughed up chance after chance on their way to kicking fourteen wides. A stat that will irk with the Kickham’s when they sit down to analyse the game. 

Creggan dominated possession in the opening exchanges but only had points from Tiarnan and Dominic McAteer to show for their efforts.

The best Rossa could muster was an effort from the roving Michael Byrne, but his effort fell comfortably into the hands of Kerr.

Ruairi McCann opened his account on 14 minutes and Creggan looked to be cruising as they lead 0-3 to 0-0, but Rossa soon found a way back into the contest.

Michael Armstrong collected Stephen Beatty’s long ball and played in Diarmuid Rogan, who after a goal mouth scramble that involved two shots, claimed a goal that levelled proceedings after 18minutes.

Two minutes later Armstrong fielded another long ball but this time claimed a mark and duly pointed to give Rossa an unexpected lead.

Ruairi McCann and Dominic McAteer soon kicked Creggan back into the lead but Rogan pointed with that last play of the half to send the sides into the sheds all square, Rossa 1-2 Creggan 0-5.

Scores were few and far between at the start of the second half as Creggan’s poor form in front of goal continued.

And they were being made to pay for their lack of accuracy as Matthew Mallon and Beatty kicked Rossa into a two-point lead.

Sean Duffin made an imedaiate impact when introduced from the bench to cut the arrears to one and a minute later Ruairi McCann levelled the tie from close range with the goal at his mercy.

Rossa recovered from that let-off Byrne and Eoghan McMenamin carved open a two-point lead again.

On 52 minutes Creggan were handed the initiative when Rossa were reduced to 14 players.

Duffin was on a storming run through the heart of the Rossa defence but was dragged down by Mallon leaving referee Darren McKeown no option than to brandish the Rossa man with a black card.

From the resulting free Ruairi McCann pointed to leave a solitary point between the sides and when Kerr pointed two frees it looked like Creggan had done just enough to maintain their two-point lead at the top of division one.

But McEnhill’s last ditch free means that they head back down the motorway with a one-point advantage with just two games to play.

Teams & Scorers:

O’Donovan Rossa: Michael Byrne (0-1f), Aidan Devlin, Niall Crossan, Conor McGowan, Jack Morris, Chris McGuiness, Patrick Moyes, Michael McEnhill, Eoghan McMenamin (0-1), Conall McDonnell, Stephen Beatty (0-1), Matthew Mallon (0-1), Michael Armstrong (0-1), Diarmuid Rogan (1-1), Michael McDaid.

Replacements: Cormac McGettigan for M McEnhill (HT), Dominic McEnhill (0-1f) for Armstrong (38), Thomas Morgan for Rogan (48), Ciaran Orchin for McGowan (48), Liam Carr for McDaid (56).

Creggan: Oisin Kerr (0-2f), Ethan Carey Small, Eunan McAteer, Aidan Maguire, Sam Maguire, Martin Johnston, Jamie McCann, Kevin Small, Kealan McCann, Fintan Burke, Ruairi McCann (0-4 3f), Tiarnan McAteer (0-1), Dominic McAteer (0-2), Matthew Rodgers, Liam Quinn.

Replacements: Sean Duffin (0-1) for D McAteer (38), Conor McCann for Burke (48), Aidan McKeown for Quinn (60).

Referee: Mr Darren McKeown (St Galls)

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