Duffin points Creggan to U20B title

Under-20 B Football Championship (Final)

Kickham’s Creggan 0-10 Patrick Sarsfield’s 0-08

A free despatched with confidence late in the game by the impressive Sean Duffin secured the U20B title for Creggan as the full-forwards score finally killed off the challenge of a battling Sarsfield’s.

Duffin’s point brought his personal contribution to a healthy six for the day and guided his side over the winning line to secure the title at the expense of the Belfast side at a blustery Dunsilly.

Patrick mcShane’s shot for goal flies inches over the Creggan crossbar during the second half

Both sides needed late scores in their semi-finals to reach today’s decider and most expected today’s final to go to the wire and that was how it turned out with the issue only resolved in the closing minutes.

The ‘Bear Pit’ residents enjoyed the benefit of the breeze in the opening half and they were first to give employment to the scoreboard attendant as Sean Clarke followed the example of Brian Healey to make it 0-2 to 0-0 after four minutes.

The Paddies looked in for a goal early in the contest but Daire McMenamin’s effort was deflected for a ‘45’ which was despatched between the posts by Daniel Smith.

Sarsfields led  0-03 to 0-00 at the end of the opening quarter as the swirling breeze caused problems for both sides with Kickham’s finding it difficult to find the target.

The South West side were finally off the mark in the 17th minute as Joe McAteer opened the way for Sean Duffin to finish between the posts.

The wing half forward had a glimpse at goal himself shortly after but the Sarsfield’s net minder Jonathan Rogers was alert to the danger and quick to clear his lines.

Sarsfield’s increased their lead late in the half with points from Daniel Smith and Patrick Mc Shane but the former was to spend the remainder of the period in the ‘sin bin’ following a foul on Joe McAteer.

Sarsfields started the second half a couple of points ahead but Creggan were quick to draw level with Sean Duffin splitting the posts from a 31st minute free before a strong Joe McAteer approach opened the way for Duffin to add another from close range.

Sarsfield’s fought hard to regain the lead and a fine approach involving centre back Ahmad Soda saw Patrick McShane split the post to see them nip ahead.

Back came Creggan as the busy Joe McAteer was sent away by a Sean McAuley clearance to fire over and restore parity at 0-08 apiece.

Joe McAteer is challenged by two Sarsfields defenders

Both sides battled for supremacy but the deadlock was broken when Sean McAuley was fouled after a strong penetrating run. Joe Mc Ateer’s long delivery from the placed effort was seized by the towering Lee Johnston on the edge of the square and he placed Sean Duffin to finish between the posts.

Sarsfield’s went looking for an equaliser but the Creggan defence stood firm and it was Creggan who took advantage in the 54th minute as a foul on the advancing Sean Donnelly was punished when Sean Duffin fired over the bar.

The excellent Duffin then punished an indiscretion on the towering Lee Johnston by sending the free kick between the posts to see Creggan move 0-10 to 0-08 clear with the end in sight.

Sarsfield’s required a goal to pull this one out of the fire but the Creggan defence stood firm during the closing stages and the title was bound for the Staffordstown road with Creggan finishing as U20 B champions for 2022.

Joe Mcateer receives the Saffron Gael man of the match award

Creggan: Peter McGinley, Caolan Hughes, Sean McAuley, Finn O’ Neill, Pearse Mc Guckin, Dylan Hinphey, Ruairi Mc Veigh, Lee Johnston, Sean Donnelly, Cian Graffin, Joe McAteer (0-02), Ciaran Graffin (0-02), Sean Duffin (0-06), Cillian Mc Larnon

Subs

J PO’Neill for C Graffin

Sarsfield’s: Jonathan Rogers, Darragh Coleman, Liam Mitchell, Ruairi Devlin, Stephen Hughes, Ahmad Soda, Donal Smith (0-01), Michael Johnston (0-01), Joe Mc Nally, Daniel Smith (0-01), Daire Mc Menamin (0-01), Sean Clarke (0-01), Anthony Mc Garrigle, Patrick Mc Shane (0-02), Brian Healey (0-03),

Subs

E McBrearty for S Clarke

O Coleman for P Mc Shane

Referee R Matthews (Rossa)

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