Creggan close in on League title

Homefit Antrim Senior Football League Division One

Creggan 2-20 St Johns 0-6

Wednesday July 6

Brendan McTaggart reports from Pairc Ui Chiceam 

Creggan produced an hour of controlled dominance on Wednesday evening as they despatched the challenge of St Johns with ease to take a step closer to the league title.  Twenty points separated the sides at the end of the 60 minutes in a score line that justified the gulf between the sides, such was the display from the home side.  2-17 from play and 11 different scorers, the Staffordstown Road side never wavered in an awesome display.

Ruairi McCann top scored with 1-4 to his name, three of those from placed ball while Liam Quinn finished top of the charts from open play with 0-3 in his 38 minutes on the pitch.  But the range of scorers and variety in their play stood out and kept the Johnnies chasing shadows.  A ruthless display and on another day, the home side could have scored more majors.

The Johnnies lacked bite and won’t be happy with the scores conceded from open play.  It took them ten minutes to have their first shot at goal while Creggan had opened a seven point lead by that stage.  Points from Tiarnan McAteer, Dominic McAteer (mark), Kevin Small and Ethan Carey-Small came supplemented Quinn’s early goal.  Playing a one two with Tiarnan McAteer, Quinn palmed the ball home to give his side an early advantage.

A free from Conal McGlade doubled the visitors score before they had a gilt-edged chance for a major on 16 minutes.  A high ball from Domhnall Nugent was broken by Laughlin McCurdy but Conal Quinn’s effort flashed wide.

The home side dominated the closing stages to the first half, keeping St Johns to just one point while taking their own tally to 1-11 with an array of counter attacking football.

The Johnnies rang the changes at half time with Padraig Nugent moving outfield from goals and Pearce Donnelly going between the sticks with Conor Hand replacing Laughlin McCurdy on the edge of the square and while they had more possession than in the first half and the wind at their back, they lacked the cutting edge shown by the home side.

The visitors had moments of brilliance, namely Domhnall Nugent’s sublime score with the outside of his right foot around 40 yards from goal on the angle but those moments were fleeting at best.

As the half progressed Creggan continued to be relentless and in the space of 10 minutes doubled their advantage.  Emptying their bench, all the players introduced had an impact with three of their five subs used all adding their names to the list of scorers while Ruairi McCann’s 55th minute goal added gloss to an already impressive score line.  McCann applying the finish after substitutes Paddy Coey and Sean Duffin combined to find him in space.

A comfortable evening for the Kickhams men who know their league fate is in their own hands when they travel to Hannahstown for their last league fixture.

TEAMS

Creggan: Oisin Kerr; Ethan Carey-Small (0-1), Killian Burke, Eunan McAteer; Sam Maguire, Martin Johnston, Jamie McCann (0-1); Kevin Small (0-2), Kealan McCann; Fintan Burke, Ruairi McCann (1-4 2f’s 1’45), Tiarnan McAteer (0-3); Liam Quinn (1-3), Dominic McAteer (0-1 mark), Odhran McLarnon (0-1)

Subs: Sean Duffin (0-2) for L Quinn (38); Joe McAteer (0-1) for K McCann (41); Aidan McKeown (0-1) for K Small (46); Conor McCann for T McAteer (46); Paddy Cooey for F Burke (51)

St Johns: Padraig Nugent; Conor McEvoy, Ciaran Garland, Joseph Garland; Ross Hannigan (0-1), Adrian Oliver, Pearce Donnelly; Simon McDonagh, Domhnall Nugent (0-1); Danaan McKeogh, Conal McGlade (0-2 f), Luke Peden; Conchur Adams, Laughlin McCurdy, Conall Quinn

Subs: Conor Hand (0-1 f) for L McCurdy (HT); Louis Boyd for A Oliver (46); Fra McCrudden for C Adams (49); Declan Greggan (0-1) (49); Odhran Carleton for D McKeogh (51)

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lamh Dhearg)

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