Creggan’s hopes of retaining their Division 1 Football League title were dealt a bad blow at Corrigan Park on Sunday when they were well beaten by St John’s. Things were going well for the Kickham’s when they led by 0-6 to 0-2 after twenty minutes but St John’s hit back before the break in emphatic fashion, scoring 2-5 to go in at half time with a 2-7 to 0-6 lead. After the change of ends the Belfast side continued to dominate and two more goals put them in control as they ran out winners by 14 points.
On a great day for football Kickhams were dominant in the early stages as points from Conor Small (2),Ruairi McCann, David McGuckian, Marty Johnston and Eunan McAteer, to two Patrick McBride frees saw them lead 0-6 to 0-2. With a four point lead things looked good for the visitors but St. John’s really stepped it up a gear scoring two cracking goals through Simon McDonagh and Mathew Fitzpatrick plus three points from Conal Kelly and two from Andy McGowan to turn the game on its head.
Seven points to the good at the break St. John’s started the second half on the front foot with points from Mc Bride, Kelly, Fitzpatrick and Peter McCallin in reply to just three from Creggan’s Dominic McAteer, Ruair McCann an Eunan McAteer. By this stage the game was beyond reach for the Staffrodstown side but St. John’s hadn’t finished yet with another Fitzpatrick point and goals for Patrick McBride and Andy McGowan. With the game fizzling out both team scored another two points each with McBride and McCallin getting the Johnnies scores and Aiden McKeown and McGuckian getting Kickhams scores.
The ball is now firmly in Cargin’s court and if they can win their game in hand on Tuesday night against Casements then they will have one hand on the trophy.
St Enda’s kept their survival hopes alive with a crucial
3-14-1-11 win over St Teresa’s in the meeting of the bottom two at the Glen
Road this evening.
The sides couldn’t be separated until the end of the opening
half when Odhran Eastwood converted from the spot to give his side a 1-06-0-06
lead and a goal at the beginning of the second half from substitute Ciaran
O’Neill had the Hightown men in control.
St Teresa’s hit back through an Anton Taylor strike and were
within a point of their basement rivals with around eight minutes to go, but St
Enda’s kicked on and a Peter Healy goal on the stroke of full-time put the seal
on an important win that keeps the visitors survival hopes firmly alive and in
the process ensured that St Teresa’s will drop out of the top division.
The stakes were high pre-match as both sides knew the
consequences that defeat would bring with only two further games remaining
The pressure appeared to be telling early on at the Glen
Road as chances were squandered but it was St Teresa’s who eventually forged
ahead after seven minutes – Liam Gault popped the ball into the path of Jay
Mallon who shot high between the posts.
St Enda’s replied courtesy of an Odhran Eastwood free in
front of the posts and the corner-forward quickly added a second from play to
edge the Hightown men into the lead.
An excellent Liam Gault shot squeezed over the bar to level
the game for a second time after ten minutes but at the midway point it was the
visitors that held a 0-04-0-02 advantage.
Michael Morgan popped the ball over from a tight angle and
Peter Healy cut in from the left and tapped over.
Jay Mallon replied with a close range free and it was from
another Mallon free that St Teresa’s second leveller arrived – the wing
half-back’s effort dropped short only for Robert Gallagher to fist the ball
over and tie the game at 0-04 apiece with ten minutes to the break.
A neat interchange of passes resulted in Ciaran Thompson restoring
the visitors lead – only for an instant response from Conor Mallon.
St Teresa’s edged ahead for only the second time on the 26th
minute thanks to a second converted Jay Mallon free of the half.
Ruairi Scott tied the
game up for a fifth time, converting a free and the opening goal of the game
would arrive deep into the opening half.
On 28 minutes Odhran Eastwood intercepted a pass and looked
to burst in on goal, only to felled by a challenge from Philip Maguire as
referee Eamon McAuley signalled for a penalty.
Eastwood himself took responsibility and wrong footed Aaron
Thompson before rifling low into the bottom left corner to give his side a
1-06-0-06 lead at the interval.
St Teresa’s hopes were dealt a further blow within sixty
seconds of the restart as St Enda’s made a fabulous start to the second period.
Keeping possession after winning the break ball the Hightown
men moved the ball through the hands and into the path of substitute Ciaran
O’Neill – who drilled the ball to the net.
Jay Mallon responded from the placed ball but Odhran
Eastwood angled over to ensure that the two goals separated the sides.
Anton Taylor again reduced arrears- converting a free, but
Odhran Eastwood claimed his second score in quick succession through a fisted
effort from close range.
The hosts were in need of some quick inspiration and it
arrived ten minutes into the second-half as Anton Taylor went steaming forward
and played a one-two with Paul McGoldrick before drilling the ball past Donal
Walsh to the corner of the net to make it 2-08-1-08.
The Super T’s would kick the next score on the 47th
minute as Philip Maguire evaded heavy pressure and somehow managed to steer the
ball over the bar on the back-foot. Although without a score in almost ten
minutes St Enda’s replied; Peter Healy playing a neat pass to Eastwood who
conjured up his third point of the second period.
Jay Mallon’s fourth converted free of the evening closed the
gap again and with nine minutes to play a single score separated the sides –
Mallon was the recipient of Paul McGoldrick’s pass and having strayed to the
left; Mallon cut inside and popped the ball over to reduce the deficit further
But in the blink of an eye St Enda’s regained control with
four points on the bounce – substitute Ryan Kennedy with the first after
combining with Eastwood, James McAuley was rewarded for his venture from
defence and further points from Michael Morgan and Eastwood gave their side a
Odhran Eastwood kicked his seventh point of the evening to
ensure that St Teresa’s would require two goals to at least claim a share of
But it was the men from Hightown that hit the net late on as
Peter Healy put the game beyond the hosts – confidently rifling past Thompson
to give his side a 3-14-1-11 lead.
Things would go from bad to worse as St Teresa’s ended the
game with 14-men – substitute Conor McCann given his marching orders for a high
foot tackle as St Enda’s closed out the game with ease to give themselves a
chance of avoiding the relegation/ promotion play-off at the end of the season.
Victory over Ahoghill on Sunday would lift Frank Fitzsimons
men above the Clooney club with a game to go – St Teresa’s go into Sunday’s
encounter with their fate already sealed and must now prepare for an assault on
promotion back to Division One next season.
St Teresa’s: A Thompson, R Mallon, D McCann, P O’Rawe, E
Connolly, P Maguire (0-01), J Mallon (0-06, 0-04f), N McCann, J Rainey, L Gault
(0-01), A Taylor (1-01, 0-01f), C McGoldrick, C Mallon (0-01), R Gallagher
(0-01), P McGoldrick. Subs: S Maguire for J Rainey (52 mins); P Glennon for C
McGoldrick (52 mins); C McCann for C Mallon (56 mins).
St Endas: D Walsh, C Lyttle, M McNamee, C McAuley, K
Jennings, J McAuley (0-01), C Thompson (0-01), E Gibson, N McKeown, M Morgan
(0-02), R Scott (0-01f), S O’Connor, P Healy (1-01), J Maskey, O Eastwood
(1-07, 1-02f). Subs: C O’Neill (1-00) for E Gibson (30 mins); R Kennedy (0-01)
for S O’Connor (40 mins); S Flynn for M Morgan (55 mins); P Hamilton for C
Thompson (60 mins).
the division one reserve league moves closer to completion Cargin closed the
gap to move within a point of the pace setters Casement’s, Portglenone when
they claimed the points at the expense of the visiting St Brigid’s in Toome on
home side started on the positive with an early John McNabb major in the
opening minutes but St Brigid’s were quick to reply at the other end as Oran Boyle
nipped in to find the net.
home side were soon to gain the upper hand however as John McNabb won and
converted a penalty at the end of the opening quarter and when he completed a
slick approach to earn a hat trick in the 20th minute the Erin’s own
men had moved into a 3-04 to 1-02 advantage.
Brigid’s were under the cosh in the opening period as the home side applied the
pressure with Michael Magill leading the attack and Ciaran Close and David
Johnston added a brace of points apiece as the Toome men went at 3-05 to 1-03
as the end of the opening period approached.
Brigid’s gained a foothold in the latter stages of the opening half as Ethan
Carelton moved in to finish an astute Oran Boyle cross to the net with a late
Ciaran Close point at the other end ensuring the home side enjoyed a 3-06 to
1-03 interval advantage.
extended their lead in the opening minutes of the second half as Ciaran Close,
John Mc Nabb, and Ciaran Close again raised white flags in turn and although
the visitors replied with an excellent Ryan Murtagh goal, David McElhone,
Michael Magill, and John Mc Nabb combined in style to open the door for Ciaran
Close to add prompt reply and the home side were 4-09 to 3-03 ahead.
Brigid’s replied with Ethan Carelton adding a 36th minute point but
the home side were quick to respond with Ciaran Close raising back to back
whites before Odhran McGuckin and John McNabb combined to send the former in to
add a 41st minute goal.
Close started the last quarter with another point before Donal Mc Keever
followed suit and although the visitors were to add the next three scores as
Ethan Carelton, Ryan Murtagh, and Shane Boyle split the posts, David Johnston
and John McNabb hit back for the Toome side and the die looked cast at the 50th
minute mark with Cargin at 5-13 to 3-07.
Brigid’s kept battling and were rewarded as Oran Boyle and Shane Boyle added
points but the home side replied again through Odhran McGuckin and Shay Bovill
before a 59th minute goal from replacement Jack McAllister proved to
be the coup de grace.
St Brigid’s net minder Stephen Morrissey got down well to parry McAllister’s initial
effort but the ball broke favorably for the substitute to return posts haste to
the back of the net.
Cargin addition, Matthew McGuckin added a further point and although the
visitors were to have the last say on the scoreboard as Oran O’Boyle and center
back Finn McKiernan raised late back to back white flags, these were very much
consolation scores as Cargin breasted the winning line full value for their
6-18 to 3-11 winning margin.
lead the way at the top of the division with Cargin a point in arrears but with
a game in hand while Creggan sit third, a further two points behind
Cargin: Michael J McGuckin, Sean Og Quinn, Gerard
McCorley, Conor McFall, Dermot McGuckin, Ronan Gribbin, Shay Bovill (0-01),
Odhran McGuckin (0-01), David McElhone, Enda McGrogan, Michael Magill (0-01),
David Johnston (0-03), Ciaran Close (2-07), John McNabb (3-04), Donal McKeever
McAllister (1-00) for E Mc Grogan
Mc Keever for C Close
Laverty for M Mc Guckin
Mc Guckin (0-01) for O Mc Guckin
Mc Guckin for D Mc Keever
Brigid’s: Stephen Morrissey, Peter Heaney, Ryan Daly, Brian Mc Kernan, David Mc
Gowdy, Finn Mc Kernan (0-01), Diarmuid Mc Laughlin, Eddie Mc Keever, Henry Mc Guigan, Peter Lundy , John Toner, Shane Boyle (0-03), Oran Boyle
(1-02), Ryan Murtagh (1-02), Ethan Carelton (1-04)
A trio of points in the dying embers of this crucial Division One encounter by the ever accurate Donal Graham saw St Mary’s Ahoghill come from well off the pace to grab a share of the spoils, and what may prove a most valuable point when they finished on terms with the visiting St Brigid’s.
separated the sides in the opening period but after the Cloney men had
dominated the early exchanges to lead 0-05 to 0-01 by the end of the 10th
minute, an 18th minute goal from the ill-fated Ronan McGrady ensured
the visitors were just a point in arrears at the interval with the breeze to
provide assistance in the second period.
early Peter Lundy point saw the South Belfast men off in front but Neil O’
Connell provided prompt reply at the other end and when Tom McGlone, Donal
Graham (2), and Eamon Brady followed the big man’s lead the St Mary’s men
looked in charge at 0-05 to 0-01.
a smart exit from the start traps the home side lost their way somewhat for a
time as the visitors took control in the central zone and very much in charge
of the ‘broken ball’.
home side were proving erratic in attack but strong in the defensive until a
poor delivery opened the door to the target for the incoming Ronan McGrady and the
center forward’s low drive was delivered to the corner of the net to reduce the
deficit to the bare minimum, 0-05 to 1-01.
incurred a facial injury in the process and he was forced out of the game as a consequence
to be replaced by Mark Quinn.
latter stages of the opening half proceeded tit for tat as a fine Sean Mahon
point provoked reply from Jack Dowling and similarly when Diarmuid Graham
raised a 28th minute white the resultant kick out saw Michael
Cummings and Ethan Carleton combine to send Paul Mc Cumiskey scampering away to
make similar response.
super Tom Mc Glone long range point looked like giving the home side an
interval advantage of a couple of points but as injury time proceeded an
indiscretion on Jack Dowling, 30 meters from the posts was firmly punished as
Paul Mc Cumiskey directed the right sided effort between the posts to see the
home side at 0-08 to 1-04 at the break.
Brigid’s started the second half with positive intent and with the firm Southerly
breeze in their favour they had opened up a three point gap by the 40th
visitors were dominant in the central zone, gaining most of the loose ball in
that area and after both mid-fielders, Michael Cummings and Cathal Conway
raised white flags a similar effort from Jack Dowling and the strong running
Paul Mc Cumiskey saw them move into a 1-08 to 0-08 advantage and they looked in
Graham pulled one back for the home side after a slick Stephen O’ Connell
intervention and a strong clearance opened the way but the visitors were prompt
in reply as Patrick Finnegan fired over a fine 43rd minute point.
McGlone grabbed another fine point to
reduce the deficit to a couple of points but the St Brigid’s lads were calling
most of the shots and back to back points from the impressive Paul McCumiskey and
corner forward Ethan Carleton put them in a strong position.
Brigid’s had nipped away to lead 1-11 to 0-10 as the game entered the last ten
minutes and they looked secure.
Mary’s finished strongly however and a Donal Graham point which followed a foul
on replacement Eoin Graham and another from centre back Fionbarr O’ Neill
suggested the home side were on the comeback trail.
However It took a smashing save from
net-minder Frankie Neeson who stood tall to deny Paul Mc Cumiskey after a cute
Rory Brolly flick opened the way to the target.
wing half forward did add a point from a placed effort a few minutes later and
the 57th minute score ensured a three point advantage and the points
looked destined for South Belfast.
Mary’s looked down but once again Dualtagh Johnston’s men were not about to be
counted out as they staged another character laden finish.
foul on the incoming Eamon Brady was punished when Donal Graham despatched the
left sided award between the posts and when the advancing Eoin Graham sent him
away on the same side the ever accurate corner man added another and only a
point separated them.
the clock ticked down with St. Brigid’s hanging on they were penalized for an
over carrying offence in the 33rd minute and despite the acute angle
and the pressure of the kick Donal Graham was not to be found wanting as he
drilled the leather firmly between the posts to see his side conclude on terms
at 0-15 to 1-12.
Ahoghill: Frankie Neeson, Bernard Graham, Stephen O’
Connell, Gerard Graham, Eamon Brady (0-01), Fionbarr O’ Neill (0-01), Sean
Mahon (0-01), Martin Graham, Tom Mc Glone (0-03), Diarmuid Graham (0-01), PJ O’
Connell, Bobby Magee, Patrick Graham, Neil O’ Connell (0-01), Donal Graham
Eoin Graham for Diarmuid Graham
St Brigid’s: Stephen Magennis, Daire Mc Garvey, Niall Mc Donald, Finn Mc
Kernan, Patrick Finnegan (0-01), Michael Cummings (0-01), Cathal Conway (0-01),
Paul Mc Cumiskey (0-04), Ronan Mc Grady (1-00), Peter Lundy (0-01), Ethan
Carleton (0-01), Jack Dowling (0-02), Rory Brolly
A blistering opening five minutes and an emphatic final seven
saw Erin’s Own Cargin dispense with the challenge of St. John’s in near perfect
conditions at Corrigan Park tonight. The McCann brothers led the way for the
league leaders with Paul firing to the net in the third minute to put his side
in control and both Michael and Tomas adding goals in the 52nd
minute at a time when St. John’s were enjoying a bit of success.
It was Paul McCann who put the visitors into an early lead
when he finished a good move to the corner of the net in the third minute and
Tomas McCann followed from a free in the 4th minute to put the Toome
side four ahead.
Tomas McCann added a second free and his place kicking was
to prove decisive over the hour and he was to go on to top score with 1-8 as Erin’s
Own controlled most of the game depriving their opponent possession for long
Peter McCallin pulled one back for the Corrigan men with a
point in the 7th minute but a couple more from the accurate Tomas
McCann had Cargin 1-3 to 0-1 ahead after 14 minutes.
Ryan McNulty and the excellent Matthew Fitzpatrick replied
with points for St. John’s to leave three between the sides but a point from
Paul McCann and two more from his sibling Tomas saw the visitors move six in
front by the 24th minute as Barry McFall replaced Ross Hannigan in
the St. John’s side.
Cargin had controlled matters up to this point in the game
but Matthew Fitzpatrick, who was superb throughout pulled one back for the home
side and Paddy Nugent came forward from goals to fire a long range free between
the sticks and leave the half time score 1-7 to 0-5 in favour of the South West
Fitzpatrick was on target within 30 seconds of the restart
to close the gap to four and after Tomas McCann replied from a free the big
centre half forward struck another excellent point to keep his side’s hopes
very much alive.
St. John’s continued to give away soft frees however and
Tomas McCann made it look easy as he added another point in the 9th
minute with Enda McGroggan following with another from play and the gap was
back to six points.
St. John’s were dealt another blow as Simon McDonagh
received a Black card to be replaced by Colm McGlade and when Paul McCann
extended the visitors lead with a point at the end of the third quarter it
certainly wasn’t looking good for Gearoid Adams’ side.
They rallied however with Matthew Fitzpatrick driving them
forward and the county man was involved in an excellent move which ended with
Michael Bradley finishing to the net in the 19th minute and when ‘Fitzy’
followed with an excellent point in the 21st minute the visitors
lead had been cup to three and they looked in a spot of difficulties for the
first time in the game.
From the resulting kick-out Cargin demonstrated just why
they are league leaders however as John Carron rose to flick John McNabb’s long
kick-out onwards into the path of Michael McCann and he raced through to beat Nugent
from close range.
Suddenly all St. John’s good work had been undone and to
make matters worse the keeper’s attempted short kick-out went disastrously
wrong and fell to Tomas McCann who strode forward before applying the coup de grace.
Substitute David Johnston followed with a point from play
with Ryan McNulty replying with a consolation score from a 29th
minute free to conclude the scoring.
This win sees Cargin stay ahead of Creggan on score difference;
the Kickham’s edging out Lamh Dhearg in a bad tempered affair in Creggan
tonight. With the Kickham’s travelling to Corrigan on the 4th of
August and Cargin to Portglenone two days later the stage could well be set for
a grandstand finish when the sides meet on the Staffordstown Road in the final
game of the season.
St. John’s: Paddy Nugent, Aidan McMahon, Ryan McNulty, Jack
Bohill, Ciaran Garland, Michael Bradley, Ross Hannigan, Ronan McCafferty, Simon
McDonagh, Peter McCallin, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Conal Kelly, Conor McEvoy, Andy
McGowan, Stephen Tierney.
Cargin: John McNabb, Martin Kane, Justin Crozier, Gerard McCorley,
Ciaran Bradley, Gerard McCann, James Laverty, Kevin McShane, John Carron, Paul
McCann, Michael McCann, Enda McGroggan, Michael Clarke, Pat Shivers, Tomas McCann.
Suds: David Johnston