Ulster Club SFC semi-final
Glen Maghera 1-10 Erin’s Own Cargin 0-8
A strongly fancied Glen Maghera advanced to the final of the Ulster Senior Football club championship where they will meet All Ireland champions, Kilcoo but they were forced to battle for their win against a determined Cargin in Omagh on Sunday.
Indeed the Derry champions were hanging onto a two point lead with the clock ticking down when they were awarded a penalty after keeper, John McNabb was adjudged to have fouled substitute Stevie O’Hara and Danny Tallon tucked away the spot kick to put a rather flattering look on the final scoreline.
Tallon kicked Glen into a fourth-minute lead and while Tomas McCann levelled with a free, a superb Conor Glass point from near the right touchline and another from a Tallon’s ‘mark’ put the Derry champions two up by the 11th minute.
At this stage of the game Cargin were enjoying plenty of possession but were turned over on a number of occasions when they found themselves in good scoring positions.
Cargin keeper John McNabb’s showed his colleagues how it should be done when he sent a free from 45 meters between the posts in the 18th minute but Michael Warnock replied for the Derry champions which was quickly followed by a second from Conor Glass as the Maghera men enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.
Cargin came back strongly however in the closing stages of the opening half as they showed scant regard for their opponents reputation and Tomas McCann and Pat Shivers were on target from frees, the second coming after James Laverty was brought down as he burst through on goal.
Danny Tallon moved Glen two ahead on the restart but Cargin were starting to believe and Pat Shivers replied from a ‘mark’ to keep the Antrim champions very much in touch.
Another Tallon free and one from play from substitute Alex Doherty twice nudged Glen two ahead again but Cargin were giving as good as they got and substitute Ciaran Bradley and the excellent Kevin O’Boyle kicked superb efforts from play.
Emmett Bradley then missed an opportunity to put Glen two ahead once more as the pressure started to tell on the Derry men but corner-back Cahir Donnelly was just wide from 35 meters at the other end in the 54th minute as the Toome side went in search of an equaliser.
Bradley was showing signs of nerves as he missed another Glen free a minute later before immediately getting another placed-ball chance which he slotted over. Cargin responded again as Paul McCann replied from distance and the travelling Cargin support were in fine voice as they sensed a famous victory.
With a minute of normal time left, the game was still in the melting point with Glen hanging on to a two point lead but substitute Doherty won possession with a skilful lift before being fouled on the edge of the large square.
Bradley pointed the free to put Glen two ahead for the first time since the 24th minute as the game entered injury-time.
Cargin pressed forward again and Michael McCann collected a poor Glen kick-out but was somewhat harshly blown up after catching Cathal Mulholland in the face as he attempted to shake off the attentions of the Maghera man.
McCann received a yellow card for his troubles and Glen took full advantage as they worked the ball downfield and keeper McNabb’s foul on substitute Stevie O’Hara resulted in the penalty in the dying seconds which was dispatched by Tallon.
Heartbreak in the end for the Antrim champions who were once again written off in some quarters but Ronan Devlin’s side can hold their heads high and with a bit of luck it might well be them and not Glen who will face Kilcoo in the Ulster final.
The Toome men collected their fourth Antrim title in five years this year and finally put to bed an Ulster first round hoodoo that has haunted them since 1999 and have shown this year that they have the team to push on to even greater things in the years to come.
Glen scorers: Danny Tallon 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-2fs, 0-1m), Emmett Bradley 0-2 (0-2fs), Conor Glass 0-2, Michael Warnock 0-1, Alex Doherty 0-1.
Cargin scorers: Tomas McCann 0-2 (0-2fs), Pat Shivers 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1m), John McNabb 0-1 (0-1f), Paul McCann 0-1, Ciaran Bradley 0-1, Kevin O’Boyle 0-1.