Andersonstown SC IHC Group 2
CREGGAN 0.10 v SARSFIELD 1.10.
When Sarsfield’s turned off to the Staffordstown Road, they could have been mistaken in thinking that this was their first match in the League and not the Championship given the miserable cold, dark and wet weather conditions. Things didn’t improve much on the field either as both teams struggled with the conditions.
This contest was not going to be one to remember with the only two memorable highlights coming when Donal McKernan hit a superb sideline cut from 30 metres over the bar and Creggan’s Conor McCann’s 20 metre free ricocheted off the cross bar late in the game, giving the Paddies a 3-point win.
Referee, Kevin Parkes, got proceedings underway. The City side needed a win and the home side needed a good performance but poor weather conditions ensured that this encounter would be a scrappy affair. The home side were wind assisted and raked up 4 points by the 7th minute – 3 frees from Conor McCann and one from play from Kevin Rice.
As the visitors struggled for possession it was almost 9 minutes before they got their first of 3 pointed frees in the first half – one from Kevin McKernan, another from Niall McKernan and their last score, 20 minutes in, was also from Niall McKernan.
The home side were to increase their lead to 4 points before the short whistle with half back, Jake McAteer, striking a fine ball over the bar along with his team mate, Conor McCann, finishing off his first half tally, by adding 2 points – one from play and one from a free.
As the wind increased, the visitors played the intelligent game by slowing things down resulting in Creggan not being able to capitalize as their wide tally reached 7 and converting a few of these would have been vital going into the second half.
HALF TIME SCORE: CREGGAN 0.07 v SARSFIELDS 0.03
It was Creggan’s free taker, Conor McCann who got the first score of the second half from a placed ball to give his team a 5-point lead. The Stewartstown Road men had to narrow the gap, and this they did from 2 points in quick succession on the 33rd and 35th minute, from Kevin McKernan, one from a placed ball and the other from play.
This lifted the travelling support and 2 minutes later, Gary Lennon, added another point to leave it a 2-point game. Midway through the second half it was anyone’s game as both sides struggled with the poor conditions, however, it was the City side who capitalized as the light faded.
As a high ball was sent into the edge of the home side’s square, Creggan keeper, Thomas McCann and Full back, Aidan Maguire, together with the visitors’, Gary Lennon, all scrambled for possession with McCann hauling down Lennon at the expense of a penalty.
Niall McKernan, stepped up with the Creggan’s keeper going the right way but he just could not get his stick to the ball. Sarsfield’s were in front for the first time with 41 minutes gone however, Creggan drew level with another free from McCann.
As the match progressed, a beautiful side line cut from Kevin McKernan sailed over the bar to put Sarsfield’s ahead again. Conor McCann replied in the 48th minute matters to level matters once more but this would be Creggan’s last score of the game.
The ‘Paddies’ finished strongly with 2 more pointed frees from Niall McKernan and at this stage Creggan needed a goal and they threw everything at the visitors defence. They launched a number of high balls into the danger area but the visitors survived the onslaught.
The home side were thrown one last chance as Conor McCann lined up to take a 20 metre free, facing a packed Sarsfield’s defence and McCann directed his shot superbly, aiming for the small patch of daylight below the black spot.
The ball ricocheted off the crossbar however and that was the contest over, giving the Paddies a win they needed and leaving Creggan to fight another day.
CREGGAN: No.1 Thomas McCann, No.2 Aidan Maguire, No.3 Aidan McKeown, No.4 Sennan O’Boyle, No.5 Jake McAteer (0.01), No.6 Kealan McCann, No.7 Tiarnan McLarnon, No.8 Sean Duffin, No.9 Niall McAuley, No.10 Kevin Rice (0.01), No.11 Cormac Rice, No.12 Dannan O’Hara, No.13 Conor McCann (0.08), No.14 Michael Maguire, No.15 Paedar McGuckian, No.16 Michael Carey Small, No.17 Brendan Maguire, No.18 Joseph James Smyth, No.19 Caolan Hughes, No.20 Owen Grant.
SARSFIELDS: No.1 Gerard McKernan, No.2 Niall McAlea, No.4 Mark McCavanagh, No.6 Conall McKernan (0.01), No.7 Enda McCartan, No.8 Kevin McKernan (0.04), No.9 Daniel McKernon, No.10 David Smyth, No.11 Donal McKernan, No.12 Oisin Coleman, No.13 Gary Lennon, No.14 Niall McKernan (1.04), No.16 Anthony McGarrigle, No.17 Brendan McGibbon, No.18 Conall Jemfrey, No.19 Darragh Coleman, No.20 David McAllister, No.21 Naoise O’Faolain, No.22 Joseph McGirk, No.25 Jim McKernan, No.26 Jack Daniels, No.27 James Cunningham, No.29 Nicholas O’Muallane.
REFEREE: Kevin Parke.