Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Cargin 0-13-0-09 Lámh Dhearg
Kevin Herron reports from Dunsilly
Cargin bounced back from defeat to Rossa in their last Group game and laid down a marker for the later stages of the Championship with a 0-13-0-09 win over Lámh Dhearg in Friday evenings quarter final at Dunsilly.
The Toome outfit never fell behind over the course of the evening and could have had a much larger margin of victory, but they failed to find the goal that they threatened from the off.
There was much anticipation of a thrilling Championship classic that the sides have served up over recent years.
Cargin began as slight favourites having won six of the last eight Championship meetings since the Lámhs last got the better of them back in 2011.
Pat Shivers opened the scoring early-on with a point that could so easily have been a goal after a long pass forward picked out the towering corner-forward, but his shot rose over the bar.
Lámh Dhearg should have restored parity at the very least in the aftermath and had created various opportunities – but Ryan Murray dropped back-to-back frees short of the target, shot wide from play and older sibling Conor saw a promising attack shut-down.
Instead, the Toome men doubled their lead through goalkeeper John McNabb- who joined their attack up field and steered an effort between the posts.
Ryan Murray atoned for his earlier free misses and got his side off the mark after cutting in along the by-line and thumping an angled shot high between the posts.
Cargin moved 0-04-0-01 ahead as Jamie Gribbin dropped a shot over the bar from wide of the right and Justin Crozier followed-up with another a few minutes later.
Murray’s burst of speed was causing a few problems and he sent over a further angled score before swinging a fantastic point from the opposite side to bring the Lámhs back into things.
Points from Cahir Donnelly and a simple fisted point from John Carron restored Cargin’s three-point lead- though Ben Rice slipped a nice score in reply.
Pat Shivers had a second opening on goal when he cut inside and waited for John Finucane to make his move, the veteran goal-keeper didn’t panic and delayed the inevitable and Shivers instead opted for a fist pass to Paul McCann to pull the trigger – but Declan Lynch somehow deflected the shot behind for a 45’ – which McNabb converted.
Declan Smyth produced a fine score in response before danger-man Shivers wound-up and kicked his second score of the half.
Just before the break Terry McCrudden landed an impressive score to ensure that two-points separated the sides at break (0-08-0-06).
Lámh Dhearg were first off the mark at the beginning of the second period as Owen McKeown showed his pace and trickery to burst through, but he drove his shot over the bar to reduce arrears.
Shivers converted a free in response and Paul McCann kicked a magnificent score to extend their sides half-time advantage.
The Hannahstown men introduced Shaun McManus, Declan Dunne and Paddy Cunningham from the bench to try and turn the tide.
There was a glimmer of hope that they might make the use of a numerical advantage after Gerard McCann halted the forward momentum of Marc Jordan and was shown a black card by referee Mark O’Neill.
The 14-men had a further goal chance in the aftermath with Shivers flighting a marvellous pass on-top of Tomas McCann, McCann was able to steer the ball down and fire a low shot between Finucane and Marc McGarry – but the Lámhs shot stopper parried his dangerous effort.
Jamie Gribbin moved his side four-points ahead moments later with his second score of the evening, but substitute Paddy Cunningham kept his side in touch through a converted free.
Shivers and Cunningham trade further scores from play in the aftermath as the game ticked towards injury-time.
Lámh Dhearg tried in vain to find a goal that would have forced extra-time – but nothing was forthcoming from their late pressure and there was almost a sense of déjà vu to 12-months earlier when Portglenone countered them and found a goal to secure victory in their quarter-final meeting at the same venue.
This time around substitute Benen Kelly was happy enough to fire over the bar with time quickly elapsing.
It proved the insurance point as Cargin ran out 0-13-0-09 winners at the conclusion to advance to the last four and a meeting with the winners of Sundays tie between Rossa and Champions Creggan.
Cargin: J McNabb (0-02, 0-01f), K O’Boyle, J Crozier (0-01), C Donnelly (0-01), J Laverty, S O’Neill, R Gribbin, J Carron (0-01), G McCann, C Bradley, P McCann, T McCann, P Shivers (0-04, 0-01f), M McCann (0-01), J Gribbin (0-02). Subs: B Kelly (0-01) for R Gribbin (38), K Close to T McCann (56), K McShane for C Donnelly (59), D Johnston for J Gribbin (60+4).
Lámh Dhearg: J Finucane, F Mervyn, M McGarry, M Hynes, D Smyth (0-01), D Lynch, B Rice (0-01), P Mervyn, M Jordan, R Murray (0-03), O McKeown (0-01), C Maxwell, T McCrudden (0-01), C Murray, K Quinn. Subs: S McManus for B Rice (41), D Dunne for K Quinn (46), P Cunningham (0-02, 0-01f) for T McCrudden (50), A Byrne for C Maxwell (55), M Herron for M Hynes (60+4).
Referee: Mark O’Neill (Armoy)