Northern Switchgear SFC Quarter-Final
Casements 1-12 Creggan 0-12
The league and championship double is still very much on for Casement’s Portglenone following their three point win over Kickham’s Creggan at Dunsilly on Saturday.
A goal from Aidan McAleese in the 18th minute of the second half would be the score that would separate the sides at the finish with the scores at 1-12 to 0-12 at the end of 60 minutes.
A further 12 minutes of extra time failed to produce another score despite Creggan throwing everything at the opposition but a Portglenone defence superbly marshalled by keeper, Ryan O’Neill stood firm.
It was Kickham’s Creggan who got off to the better start despite having to replace Marty Johnston just before kick-off and they moved into an early two point lead with Liam Quinn looking dangerous.
Slowly though the league champions began to gain a foothold and they replied through a splendid Caolan Tierney point and a couple of converted frees from Paddy Kelly to lead by a point with 12 minutes gone.
The hits were going in thick and hard as Liam Quinn brought it all square with a point in the 14th minute as referee Mark O’Neill signalled for a first water break in the humid conditions.
On the restart Paddy Kelly continued to show unerring accuracy as he converted his third point of the game and another fine effort from play by Ruairi Hagan had the Casements two ahead after 23 minutes.
Liam Quinn with his third of the evening closed the gap to the minimum once more but the Kickham’s were being forced to shoot from distance and a number of efforts dropped harmlessly into the grateful hands of Ports Keeper, Ryan O’Neill,
Almost directly from the kick out from Quinn’s score Portglenone raced to the other end of the field and Niall Delargy restored their two point advantage and the Casements more direct route to goals was paying dividends.
Delargy’s score came after 25 minutes and would prove to be the final score of the half and with just two between them at the break it was still very much anybody’s game.
That was quickly confirmed when Conor McCann kicked frees in the 4th and 5th minutes to bring Creggan back on level terms but once again a quick break from deep in their own half saw Stephen Kelly half-volley a tantalising cross just over the bar and the Bann-siders were ahead once more.
Creggan then suffered a blow when Kevin Small went down in agony following an innocuous looking challenge to be replaced by Caolan McCann and Paddy Kelly converted another free in the 11th minute to increase Casement’s lead to two.
Both sides continued to fight hard for every ball as Odhran McLarnon replied with a point for the Kickham’s but they were conceding too many frees at this stage of the game and Kelly continued to take advantage with his fifth and sixth of the evening.
There was still nothing between the sides as Caolan McCann announced his introduction with a fine point to cut the gap to one with 12 minutes of normal time remaining but almost immediately the Casement’s would strike a vital blow.
Niall Delargy, who with Niall McKeever was getting on top at mid-field, drove forward and a quick exchange through the hands involving a number of players saw McAleese finish to the net from close range.
Creggan replied from another Conor McCann free but as they pushed forward they were being turned over and another swift break saw Stephen Kelly restore the Casements four point advantage with six minutes of normal time to play.
Conor McCann would close the gap to three once more with his final contribution with normal time almost up as the Kickhams introduced Kevin Rice, Liam McCann, and Marty Johnston but despite almost 12 minutes of added time there would be no further scores.
Portglenone now meet Dunloy, who were conquerors of Lamh Dhearg, in the semi-final and will face another stiff challenge from the team who has been the star performers in this year’s senior championship to date
Casements: 1 Ryan O’Neill, 2 Ronan Delargy, 3 Shane Delargy, 4 Kevin O’Kane, 5 Caolan Tierney, 6 Jonny Convery, 7 Ruairi Hagan, 8 Niall Delargy, 9 Niall McKeever, 10 Aidan McAleese, 11 Oisin Doherty, 12 Stephen Kelly, 13 Paddy Kelly, 14 Michael Hagan, 15 Odhran McGarry. Subs Ciaron McKenna for Aiodan McAleese, Ronan Kelly for Paddy Kelly, Ciaran McAleese for Stephen Kelly, Conal Delargy for Odhran McGarry
Creggan: 1 Oisin Kerr, 2 Ethan Carey Small, 3 Ricky Johnston, 4 Conor McCann, 5 Aidan Maguire, 17 Sam Maguire, 7 Ruairi McCann, 8 Kevin Small, 9 Conor McCann, 10 Joe McAteer, 11 Tiarnan McAteer, 12 Odhran McLarnon 13 Liam Quinn, 14 Dominic McAteer, 15 Odhran McCann. Subs: Caolan McCann for Kevin Small, Kevin Rice for Conor McCann, Matthew Rogers for Dominic McAteer, Liam McCann for Sam Maguire, Marty Johnston for Ordhan McLarnon.
Referee: Mark O’Neill (Armoy)