ACFL Division 1
Erin’s Own Cargin 2-15 St Mary’s Ahoghill 3-09
The throw-in in this game was delayed for five minutes to allow county treasurer, Donal Murphy to make his way to Toome with the division 1 trophy should Casement’s slip up in their final game against Creggan.
In the event it wasn’t necessary and Murphy, who doubles as his clubs treasurer was able to join in the celebrations at Kelly Park as his Portglenone side defeated Creggan to collect their first division 1 title.
Cargin completed their league programme with a win over the visiting Ahoghill and although events elsewhere made the result irrelevant, both sides served up a very entertaining game of football.
‘It is a case of very well done to the Portglenone team said Kevin Doyle, part of management structure at Cargin, consistency is the key to success in the league and Casements started the season well, and continued in the positive until conclusion for what was a deserved success.
Cargin started this last league game of the season in the knowledge that only victory over the Clooney men would keep their league aspirations alive but in the event it was the visitors who were to start very much on the front foot.
Aided by the fresh southerly breeze, Chris Mc Glone’s charges were quickly out of the start traps and Patrick Graham fired between the posts with Paul McCann replying at the other end to tie the contest.
The visitors went into this game as rank outsiders but that was far from apparent in a positive start to proceedings and by the 10th minute they had nipped into a 1-03 to 0-01 lead.
Colla Mc Donald fetched a high delivery from Fionnbar O’ Neill to finish to the back of the net in the 10th minute following back to back points by the excellent James O’ Connell and another from net minder Noel Crossey as he despatched a ‘45’ firmly between the posts.
The home side returned fire in the 12th minute as Sean Og O’ Neill fired over but Ahoghill replied as Colla McDonald added a point to ensure a 1-04 to 0-02 lead for the visitors at the end of the first quarter.
Having trailed in a poor opening quarter the home side upped the ante in the second and points from the Shivers brothers, Pat and Tom brought them back into contention.
The visitors replied through a superb long range point from Danny O’ Neill but the home side were quick to reply and a smart interchange between David Johnston and Cahir Donnelly opened to way for Sean Og O’ Neill to drill his shot low to the net.
O’Neill’s goal seemed to lift the Toome side and the Shivers brothers added points to see them hit the front for the first time but Gerard Graham replied from a free at the other end to leave it all square at the break.
Cargin had the breeze at their backs at the start of the second half and they were quick to pick up the pace.
A first minute point from centre back Paul McCann saw them hit the front for the second time and a smart interchange by Jamie Gribbin opened the way for David Johnston to add another.
Erin’s Own attacked again as Pat Shivers added a point with James O’ Connell replying at the other end but Tom Shivers and Tomas Mc Cann added points apiece before Eunan Quinn and Gerard McCann combined for the latter to fire to the net.
McCann’s goal moved Cargin 2-11 to 1-07 ahead at the end of the third quarter and the Clooney side looked in trouble as the game moved into the final quarter but they were not about to accept defeat without a fight.
They came back strongly and the superb Danny O’ Neill fired to the back of the net, following a strong solo, to signal a possible comeback as they continued to move the ball around confidently.
Cargin replied through a 50th minute Eunan Quinn point and only a smart save from net minder Noel Crossey prevented the full forward finding the net as the big net minder got his foot to divert Quinn’s goal bound effort away.
A further point from replacement Tomas McCann nudged Cargin nearer to the winning line but James O’ Connell replied at the other end before replacement McCann despatched a 60 metre free firmly between the posts in the 57th minute.
McCann, returning from a long term injury, was then denied by St. Mary’s keeper Crossey but the visitors were still giving it everything and James O’Connell pointed in the 59th minute.
The visitors pressed again and looked in for a goal but Gerard Graham was denied by a foot block with the man in the middle immediately spreading his arms to indicate a penalty.
Noel Crossey, who had been excellent in his goalkeeping role, stepped forward to despatch the award firmly into the corner of the net.
A positive finish from the visitors but at the completion it was the home side who had earned the points on a final score of 2-15 to 3-09.
Celebrations were understandably muted with the news already filtering through from up the road that Portglenone had beaten Creggan to claim the league title.
Both sides will have benefited from the game however and will see it as useful preparation for the forthcoming senior championship and holders Cargin look to be running into a bit of form just at the right time.
The holders will be amongst the fancied sides as the championship gets under way next month and on the evidence of what I have seen this year, Ahoghill look capable of causing a few upsets when the premier competition kicks off.
Cargin: Shea Laverty, Sean og Quinn, Kevin Mc Shane, Kevin O’ Boyle, Justin Crozier, Paul Mc Cann (0-02), Cahir Donnelly, Gerard Mc Cann (1-00), John Carron, Pat David Johnston (0-01),Pat Shivers (0-03), Sean og O’ Neill (1-01), Tom Shivers (1-03), Eunan Quinn (0-02), Jamie Gribbin
Subs:Tomas Mc Cann (0-03), Ben Mc Larnon
Ahoghill: Noel Crossey (1-01), Seamus Mc Keever, James Magee, Shea Neeson, Fionnbar O’ Neill, Gerard Graham (0-01), Diarmuid Graham, Patrick Graham (0-01), Tom Mc Glone, Danny O’ Neill (1-01), James O’ Connell (0-03), Bernard Graham (0-01), Conor P Crossey, Donal Graham, Colla Mc Donnell (1-02)
Subs: Harry O’Donnell, Shay Madden, Ryan McPeake, Connor McGarry
Referee: Paul Burns (Naomh Comhghall)