A 22nd minute Thomas McCann penalty goal proved the platform to success as Cargin claimed victory over St Enda’s on Wednesday evening.
The Glengormley men gave as good as they got in the opening half but the home side nipped smartly out of the start traps and early points from Ryan McKiernan and Tomas McCann put them two ahead.
The home side moved 0-04 to 0-02 ahead at the first water break and then a foul on Paul McCann opened the way for Tomas Mc Cann to slot the ensuing penalty confidently home.
This score gave the Toome men a 1-06 to 0-03 advantage and they looked on their way to victory.
The visitors, with Antrim captain Peter Healey leading by example, came back strongly in the closing stages and late points by the lively Fionn Nagle and Seamus Morgan ensured only a single score separated the sides at the short whistle.
St Enda’s opened the second half with an early Eoin Nagle point but Cargin replied and Mark Kelly raced up the left hand side to fire between the posts.
This score seemed to lift the Cargin side and in a devastating third quarter they added six more points to lead 1-13 to 0-07 at the end of the third quarter and it was as good as over.
St Enda’s kept going in the latter stages but any hope for the Glengormley men was finally dashed when James Laverty and Jamie Gribbin combined to place Ryan McKiernan who punched to the back of the net.
Antrim Chairman Ciaran Mc Cavanagh was on hand to present the Eddie Fitzsimmons Memorial trophy to Kevin O’ Boyle at conclusion with the Cargin captain paying tribute to the extended panel of players used during the season.
Cargin: Shay Bovill, Kevin O’ Boyle, Justin Crozier, Gerard Mc Corley, John Carron, James Laverty (0-01), Michael Clarke, Kevin Mc Shane, Gerard Mc Cann, Paul Mc Cann (0-01), David Johnston (0-01), Mark Kelly (0-01), Tomas Mc Cann (1-08), Ryan Mc Kiernan (1-01), Jamie Gribbin (0-02)
Peadar Mc Keever (0-01) for P Mc Cann
Brian Og Devlin for J Carron
Odhran Molloy for M Kelly
St Enda’s: Paddy Flood, Diarmuid Mc Nulty, Pat Hamilton, Peter Healey, Michael Mc Namee, Eoin Nagle (0-01), Ciaran Thompson, Ruairi Scott, Michael Morgan (0-01), Ronan O’ Neill, Gerard Crossey, Cormac Morgan (0-02), Kristen Healey (0-01), Fionn Nagle (0-04)
Aghagallon produced their best performance for some time to overcome the challenge of St. Gall’s at Pairc N a Gael last night.
The visitors looked on their way to victory when they led by seven points, 10 minutes into the second half before matters took a remarkable turn.
St. Gall’s lost their discipline in the final quarter with two players picking up black cards while another player was shown straight Red late in the half.
At this stage Aghagallon grabbed the opportunity with both hands with the strong running of Eunan Walsh opening up gaps in the visitors defence.
Aghagallon themselves lost a man for ten minutes after being shown Black early in the second half as things got a little heated on what was a busy night for referee Ray Matthews.
The game was played with real championship intensity despite both sides having nothing at stake where the league was concerned.
The visitors got off to a great start as they hit two goals inside the first two minutes of the game. With just 24 seconds gone, Kevin Niblock cleverly chipped Damien O’Hagan after the Aghagallon goalkeeper had made a fine save from Terry O’Neill as St Gall’s broke straight from the throw-in.
A minute later the Aghagallon keeper had to pick the ball out of his net again after he misjudged the flight of the ball from a Caolan Chada shot which dropped in under the crossbar.
Brendan Bradley then pointed a free on seven minutes and St Gall’s had taken early control to lead 2-1 to no score and the home side looked in need of inspiration.
A free from Gareth Magee finally got St Mary’s off the mark on 11 minutes and points from Adam Loughran and Walsh settled the home side after their shaky start.
After the first water break, Aghagallon looked in for a goal of their own when Walsh powered through the St Gall’s defence and crashed a shot off the top of the crossbar and his well struck effort sailed over.
The home side were now playing with a lot of confidence however and Magee and Hugh Hannon combined to set up Eunan Walsh and the county man made no mistake as he blasted to the net in the 24th minute.
St Gall’s returned to the offensive and points from John McCaffrey, Barra McCaffrey and Caolan Chada saw them lead 2-7 to 1-6 at the interval.
Aghagallon had a great chance to close the gap to a single point in the opening stages of the second half when midfielders Loughran and Jack Lenehan combined to play the former in on goal, but Niall McCurdy made a super save to push the ball out for a ’45, which Walsh converted.
St Gall’s hit back with points from Bradley (free) and Terry O’Neill before a St Mary’s defender was sent to the line for 10 minutes.
Damian O’Hagan then came to the rescue of the home side when he tipped over a rasping shot from the lively Barra McCaffrey and St Gall’s moved seven ahead when midfielder Niall O’Neill converted a mark on 40 minutes.
The visitors looked to have matters sewn up at this stage but their scoring dried up at this point and they were to add only three more points as events conspired in favour of the Aghagallon side.
Points from Gareth Magee and substitute Pauric Maginnis kick-started their revival, but McCurdy denied Magee with another smart save on 49 minutes as Chada clipped over another point for the visitors at the other end.
St Gall’s were then reduced to 14 shortly as Aghagallon regained their full quota but Paddy Murray’s men held a six-point lead on 50 minutes when Bradley knocked over another free.
Aghagallon staged a grandstand finish when they got through for their second goal of the night after Jamie Lamont delivery was fielded by Magee, who passed to Hannon to fire past McCurdy to leave just three between the sides – 2-13 to 2-10 with seven minutes remaining.
A superb point from Maginnis cut the gap to two and St Mary’s took the lead for the first time in the game with four minutes of normal time remaining.
Another high ball in created panic in the St Gall’s defence and Conleth McAlinden’s shot was saved by McCurdy but Maginnis was on hand to send the ball to the net, much to the delight of the home side.
Bradley looked to have secured a share of the spoils for the visitors when he converted a 35-yard free in the final minutes of normal time, but the game still had a few more twists and turns to come.
McAlinden, held his nerve as the clock ticked down to fire over a cracking point following another assist from Lamont as St Mary’s struck the front once more.
St Gall’s picked up a second Black card when Pat Branagan was dragged to the ground and Magee converted the resulting free to put Aghagallon 3-13 to 2-14 ahead in stoppage time.
St Gall’s would finish the game with 13 men after a player was shown a straight Red for alleged striking as matters went from bad to worse for the visitors and the home side stood strong in the closing stages to pick up a useful win with the championship just around the corner.
AGHAGALLON: D O’Hagan; C McGrath, S Donnelly, S Devlin; M McStravick, R O’Neill, J Lamont; J Lenehan, A Loughran (0-1); E Walsh (1-3, 0-1 ’45), G Magee (0-6, 0-6fs), L Russell; C McAlinden (0-1), H Hannon (1-0), P Branagan.
Subs: J Hannon for McStravick (35), P Maginnis (1-2) for Russell (37), R Loughran for McGrath (37),R Lavery for Donnelly (47).
ST GALL’S: N McCurdy; J McCaffrey (0-1), S O’Hagan, J Hopkins; C Chada (1-2), M Donnelly, C Stinton; N O’Neill (0-1, 0-1M), A Gallagher; C Doherty, T O’Neill (0-2), B Bradley (0-5, 0-5fs); B McCaffrey (0-3), K Niblock (1-0), S Kelly.
Subs: T Ó Ciaráin for Stinton (25), M Pollock for Doherty (HT), E McCabe for Gallagher (42).
St. Brigid’s started of this Division 1 clash in Cloney on Friday in a very professional manner and led 1.05 to no score at the first water break on a beautiful evening for entertaining football. In the early stages Ahoghill just couldn’t make their chances count as St.Brigid’s went on a scoring mission with points from Rory Brolly, Peter King, James Smyth and a brilliant goal from Damian Magee.
Things could have been a lot worse for Ahoghill but for the heroics of Paddy Dougan who dived across the goal and turned a certain major round the post for a 45. After the break Ahoghill got their first score from young Colla McDonnell as he won a great ball, turned and fired it over the bar. Finbar O’Neill pushed forward to aid the attack and scored a wonderful point from 45 yards as the home side started to have some success. The scoring up to half time was end to end from both teams as St..Brigid’s went in at the break with a 1.10 to 0.4 lead.
Ahoghill started the second half with more urgency and points from Donal Graham and Conor Crossey closed the gap before Rory Brolly scored for the visitors. Eamon Brady who had been pushing forward at every opportunity, fired over when the goal opened up in front of him as the home side battled to get back into contention.
Dominic Neeson added another from play to close the gap to 6 points and at this stage a comeback looked on. The visitors responded however and James Smyth from play and then a free stretched the lead before a well worked move from Ahoghill were intercepted in midfield and Peter Henry was sent on his way to fire over from close range.
It was a long way back at this stage but James O’Connell and Tom McGlone tagged on 2 points apiece with Joseph Carney, Damian Magee and Rory Brolly replying for the visitors to take the 2 points back up the M2. Ahoghill now need to regroup before their final league game away to St.John’s on Wednesday night.
A 47th minute goal by Mark Kelly following a David Johnston inspired approach proved the key to open the door for a Derby success as Cargin gained the verdict over near neighbours Creggan in a close encounter in Toome this evening and in doing so collected another league title. Had Creggan prevailed then they would have moved level with their neighbours with one round of games still to come. However Cargin’s win leaves the Erin’s Own men four points clear and thy cannot now be caught in the title race.
The Kickham’s took the lead in the second quarter when centre forward Paddy Cooey raised green following an impressive approach from Tiernan McAteer and after trailing by three after five minutes they had come off the pace to lead 1-06 to 0-05 at the interval.
Cargin found it difficult to break down a well organised visitors defence and when they did find a way through Ryan Mc Kiernan was denied by the wood work early in the second half but Mark Kelly’s finish from close range in the last quarter proved the vital score.
Games between close rivals and near neighbours Cargin and Creggan have always proved close hard fought affairs and tonight’s was no different.The home side led the race for the first division and started as favourites and they were quickly out of the start traps.
Kevin Mc Shane opened their account as he raced through the middle to raise white in the opening minute directly from the throw in. and Jamie Gribbin added a second a couple of minutes later.
Erin’s Own were dominant in the opening minutes and added a fine Benen Kelly point from the ‘45’ after Leon Bonnes did well to parry a Jamie Gribbin strike over the bye line and they looked in charge.
Creggan, took a while to settle but opened their account when Matthew Rogers split to posts and before they were reduced in number for a while when bustling full forward Tiernan Burke was shown black but this didn’t knock them out of their stride.
Paddy Cooey added a second score sending a 30 metre free between the posts and when Matthew Rogers and Jamie McCann followed suit the visitors had nipped ahead.
A Jamie Gribbin 16th minute point saw the home side draw level again but Creggan responded and Tiernan Mc Ateer placed Paddy Cooey who found the net. A poor clearance was then punished when Tiernan Burke, just back from his time in the sin bin added a point.
The home side grabbed the last score of the half when a heavy challenge on Paudie Mc Loughlin was punished when Jamie Gribbin sent the resultant award between the posts but the visitors led 1-05 to 0-06 at the interval.
Cargin began the second half on the offensive and were unlucky not to score in the early minutes as Ryan Mc Kiernan’s punched effort came back off the cross bar.
Creggan responded as full forward Tiernan Burke claimed the mark and duly delivered over the crossbar.
The home side battled to get going but several well laid approaches came to nothing before foul on Benen Kelly saw the youngster point the resulting free from 50 metres with the visitors making quick reply at the other end as Tiernan Mc Ateer delivered between the posts.
Jamie Gribbin hit back with a point at the other end but the Kickham’s held advantage, 1-05 to 0-06 at the second water break.
There was still all to play for going into the final quarter and the decisive score arrived when a smart approach involving David Johnston, Michael Clarke and Ryan Mc Kiernan saw Mark Kelly finish to the net to claim advantage for the Cargin men at 1-09 to 1-07.
Creggan were quick to reply as Paddy Cooey raised a 56th minute white from a 30 metre free but this was cancelled out by replacement Pat Shivers who fired over from an acute angle posts to ensure his side crossed the line 1-10 to 1-08 ahead.
Cargin: Shay Bovill, Sean Og Quinn, Kevin O’ Boyle, Paudie Mc Laughlin, Gerard Mc Corley, Sean Og O’ Neill, Kevin Mc Shane (0-01, John Carron, Benen Kelly (0-02), David Johnston, Mark Kelly, PJ Quinn, Ryan Mc Kiernan (1-00), Jamie Gribbin (0-06)
Gerard Mc Cann for S Og Quinn (inj)
Michael Clarke for R Gribbin
Pat Shivers (0-01) for PJ Quinn
Paul Mc Cann for R Mc Kiernan
Creggan: Leon Bonnes, E Carey Small, Eunan Mc Ateer, Aiden Maguire, Sam Maguire, Jamie Mc Cann (0-01), Killian Burke, Terry Mc Cann, Aiden Mc Keown, Oran Mc Larnon, Paddy Cooey (1-02), Tiernan Mc Ateer (0-01), Matthew Rogers (0-03), Tiernan Burke (0-02), Fintan Burke
St. Mary’s Ahoghill gained their 2nd league win of the season after a good performance against Gort Na Mona in Belfast last night. The visitors to Enright Park we’re sharpest in the opening quarter and moved into a comfortable lead at the first water break when they led 5 points to 1.
James O’Connell and Dan O’Neill were the men who led the early charge with some good points from play as Gort Na Mona struggled with their only score coming from Dermot McVeigh. After the break Ahoghill kept pushing forward and points from James O’Connell and Bernard Graham stretched their lead before Niall Melaney replied with a great point for Gort Na Mona.
The Ahoghill side were playing with a lot of confidence and Donal Graham put them in a strong position when he intercepted a short kick out and lobbed the keeper as he struggled to get back to his goal line. Further points from James and PJ O’Connell and a great finish by young Conor Crossey completed the first half scoring with Ahoghill leading 1.11 to 0.2 at the break.
Gort Na Mona came out all guns blazing in the second half and a few long balls into the corner was to play dividends as Patrick McCaffrey and the lively Niall Melaney tagged on a couple of early points. The home side were now playing with a bit of spring in their step and Ahoghill were turned over in their half backline and Neil Henry was available to crash a great shot past Paddy Dougan in the St. Mary’s nets
Gort Na Mona were then provided the opportunity to close the gap even further when they were awarded a penalty. Dermot McVeigh stepped up and drove a fierce left footed shot towards the corner of the net but the outstretched leg of Paddy Dougan in goals deflected the ball over the bar.
Points from Donal Graham and PJ O’Connell settled the Ahoghill nerves as the referee blew for the water break. Both teams struggle to get scores in the closing quarter and as time was ticking away Gort Na Mona started to go route one but some solid defending from James Magee and Martin Graham kept them at bay.
The visitors broke from defence and James O’Connell got their first score for 10 minutess at the 22minute mark but the last scores were to come from Gort Na Mona as Dermot McVeigh and Niall Melaney tagged on a couple of late points.