Duffin points Creggan to U20B title

Under-20 B Football Championship (Final)

Kickham’s Creggan 0-10 Patrick Sarsfield’s 0-08

A free despatched with confidence late in the game by the impressive Sean Duffin secured the U20B title for Creggan as the full-forwards score finally killed off the challenge of a battling Sarsfield’s.

Duffin’s point brought his personal contribution to a healthy six for the day and guided his side over the winning line to secure the title at the expense of the Belfast side at a blustery Dunsilly.

Patrick mcShane’s shot for goal flies inches over the Creggan crossbar during the second half

Both sides needed late scores in their semi-finals to reach today’s decider and most expected today’s final to go to the wire and that was how it turned out with the issue only resolved in the closing minutes.

The ‘Bear Pit’ residents enjoyed the benefit of the breeze in the opening half and they were first to give employment to the scoreboard attendant as Sean Clarke followed the example of Brian Healey to make it 0-2 to 0-0 after four minutes.

The Paddies looked in for a goal early in the contest but Daire McMenamin’s effort was deflected for a ‘45’ which was despatched between the posts by Daniel Smith.

Sarsfields led  0-03 to 0-00 at the end of the opening quarter as the swirling breeze caused problems for both sides with Kickham’s finding it difficult to find the target.

The South West side were finally off the mark in the 17th minute as Joe McAteer opened the way for Sean Duffin to finish between the posts.

The wing half forward had a glimpse at goal himself shortly after but the Sarsfield’s net minder Jonathan Rogers was alert to the danger and quick to clear his lines.

Sarsfield’s increased their lead late in the half with points from Daniel Smith and Patrick Mc Shane but the former was to spend the remainder of the period in the ‘sin bin’ following a foul on Joe McAteer.

Sarsfields started the second half a couple of points ahead but Creggan were quick to draw level with Sean Duffin splitting the posts from a 31st minute free before a strong Joe McAteer approach opened the way for Duffin to add another from close range.

Sarsfield’s fought hard to regain the lead and a fine approach involving centre back Ahmad Soda saw Patrick McShane split the post to see them nip ahead.

Back came Creggan as the busy Joe McAteer was sent away by a Sean McAuley clearance to fire over and restore parity at 0-08 apiece.

Joe McAteer is challenged by two Sarsfields defenders

Both sides battled for supremacy but the deadlock was broken when Sean McAuley was fouled after a strong penetrating run. Joe Mc Ateer’s long delivery from the placed effort was seized by the towering Lee Johnston on the edge of the square and he placed Sean Duffin to finish between the posts.

Sarsfield’s went looking for an equaliser but the Creggan defence stood firm and it was Creggan who took advantage in the 54th minute as a foul on the advancing Sean Donnelly was punished when Sean Duffin fired over the bar.

The excellent Duffin then punished an indiscretion on the towering Lee Johnston by sending the free kick between the posts to see Creggan move 0-10 to 0-08 clear with the end in sight.

Sarsfield’s required a goal to pull this one out of the fire but the Creggan defence stood firm during the closing stages and the title was bound for the Staffordstown road with Creggan finishing as U20 B champions for 2022.

Joe Mcateer receives the Saffron Gael man of the match award

Creggan: Peter McGinley, Caolan Hughes, Sean McAuley, Finn O’ Neill, Pearse Mc Guckin, Dylan Hinphey, Ruairi Mc Veigh, Lee Johnston, Sean Donnelly, Cian Graffin, Joe McAteer (0-02), Ciaran Graffin (0-02), Sean Duffin (0-06), Cillian Mc Larnon

Subs

J PO’Neill for C Graffin

Sarsfield’s: Jonathan Rogers, Darragh Coleman, Liam Mitchell, Ruairi Devlin, Stephen Hughes, Ahmad Soda, Donal Smith (0-01), Michael Johnston (0-01), Joe Mc Nally, Daniel Smith (0-01), Daire Mc Menamin (0-01), Sean Clarke (0-01), Anthony Mc Garrigle, Patrick Mc Shane (0-02), Brian Healey (0-03),

Subs

E McBrearty for S Clarke

O Coleman for P Mc Shane

Referee R Matthews (Rossa)

 Strong finishing Cargin claim a semi-final berth

U20A Football Championship Quarter-Final

All Saint’s Ballymena 0-10 Erin’s Own Cargin 3-9

Cargin recovered from a blistering All Saints start to advance to the semi-final of the U20A football championship to win by eight in the end but they were given an early scare by a home side who looked at one stage on their way to causing an upset

Despite a less than impressive opening quarter, Cargin regained their composure and a late goal from the hugely impressive Cahir Donnelly finally killed off the challenge of a battling Ballymena side.

Cargin claimed the minor title a couple of years ago and travelled to Ballymena on Saturday as firm favourites but it was All Saints who dominated the opening exchanges.

Cal O’ Brien and Shaun O’Callaghan dominated the central zone right from the outset and back to back points by Ciaran Campbell by the 5th minutes underlined the fact that the home side meant business.

All Saints were really buzzing in the early stages and they were giving problems aplenty to their visitors and a slick interchange between Oisin Connolly and Cal O’ Brien set up Ronan Mc Killop who was denied a goal by a superb save from Shea Laverty.

The Cargin net minder, who was excellent throughout with length and accuracy from his kick outs, made a super save to deny the incoming wing half forward with the home side leading 0-03 to 0-00 at the 10th minute.

Cargin finally opened their account in the 12th minute when PJ Quinn delivered a 30 metre free between the posts to punish an indiscretion on Conan Kennedy but the home side were quick to reply.

They continued to dominate in the vital central zone and were first to the broken ball and came back with three unanswered points and were looking good at this stage of the game.

Cal O’ Brien strode through to split the posts and when Ronan McKillop added a couple more, All Saint’s had nipped into a 0-06 to 0-01 advantage and looked firmly in charge.

Cargin had struggled to make much of an impact in the opening quarter but with the towering Odhran Molloy and Benen Kelly began to gain a foothold at mid-field middle with the latter’s interception opening a path for Paudie Mc Laughlin to hoist a 20th minute white flag.

Having looked decidedly sluggish in the opening quarter the visitors began to gain a foothold with Odhran Molloy prominent and their attack came to life with Tom Shivers leading the way.

Back to back points by the full forward saw the Erin’s Own lads reduce the gap and then Eunan Quinn and Conan Kennedy combined to send Shivers in on target again in the 28th minute and he finished to the back of the net.

Having led for most of the opening period All Saint’s found themselves behind for the first time in the latter stages with their visitors leading 1-04 to 0-06 as the half time whistle sounded.

All Saints were not long in arrears as the second half got underway as the impressive Ronan Mc Killop added back to back points within a few minutes of the restart to restore their advantage.

The visitors were quick to respond however and half time substitute, Diarmuid Quinn set up Tom Shivers to duly deliver his second goal of the game and the same player quickly added a point.

Quinn added a further point to make it 2-06 to 0-08 and although Ronan Mc Killop replied with a couple of minors it was Cargin who finished strongly with the introduction of Conhuir Johnston adding impetus.

Johnston set up Cahir O’ Boyle to split the posts and then Cahir Donnelly came forward from defence and combined with Conhuir Johnston before firing to the back of the net to put his side in control.

Tom Shivers had the final score of the game when he punished a foul on Conhuir Johnston with a late, late point to see the Toome men cross the winning line and secure a date with St Brigid’s in next week-ends semi-final.

All Saints: Jason Givens, Jude Casey, Michael Reid, Ryan Mc Cartney, Archie Mc Greevey, Conaill Killough, Paddy O’ Brien, Shaun O’ Callaghan, Cal O’ Brien (0-01), Ronan Mc Killop (0-07), Oisin Connolly, Charlie Meltrusty, Colin O’Neill, Ciaran Campbell, Paul O’ Boyle

Subs:

Daniel Mc Coy

Darragh Bradley for P O’ Brien

TP Mc Gurk for A Mc Greevey

Fintan Brady for C Neill

Oliver O’ Rawe

Cargin: Shea Laverty, Caomhinn Kennedy, Cahir Donnelly (1-00), Ciaran Mc Peake, Ben Mc Larnon, Conan Johnston, Cahir O’ Boyle (0-01), Odhran Molloy, Benen Kelly, PJ Quinn (0-01), Eunan Quinn, Cian Scullion, Conan Kennedy, Tom Shivers (2-04),Paudie Mc Laughlin (0-01)

Diarmuid Quinn (0-01) for PJ Quinn

Conhuir Johnston for B Kelly

Malachi Johnston for C Kennedy

Referee: G Walsh (Aghagallon)

Tir na nOg stroll into semis

U20B Football Championship quarter-final

Tir na nOg 5-11 Lamh Dhearg 0-7

Tir na nOg, Randalstown had little difficulty in dealing with the challenge of Lamh Dhearg in this rather one sided U20 football championship quarter-final, played at Creggan Kickham’s on Saturday. Before the game both sides observed a minutes silence for former Lamh Dhearg player, Frankie Wilson who sadly passed awasy during the week.

Despite losing midfielder, Joshua Higgins to a dislocated finger in the opening minute the Whitehill side controlled the game throughout and led 3-4 to 0-4 at the halfway stage.

The South West side had too much pace and scoring power from all over the field for a Lamh Dhearg side deprived of a number of starters who were away on holiday and had to rely entirely on their full-forward, Adam Murray for their scores.

It was Murray who opened the scoring for Lamh Dhearg when he pointed a 4th minute free but Tir na nOg were quick to reply and Colla McDonnell fisted a rebound to the net in the 5th minute to give them a lead they would never again lose.

Daniel Hastings added a second in the 10th minute after being set up by Joe McCormick and the same player added a couple of points before Brandon McLarnon got in for his side’s third goal to make it 3-3 to 0-3 at the break with all of Lamh Dhearg’s points coming from Adam Murray.

Murray opened the second half as he had the first with a point for the Hannastown side with Joe McCormick replying for Tir na nOg and it was that man Murray who brought his side’s total to five with another Lamh Dhearg minor but the Belfast men quite simply could not get enough ball into their full-forward.

Conor Hastings replied from a 20 meter free before Colla McDonnell scored their fourth goal when he somehow conjured an overhead kick to the net while lying on the ground in the 8th minute and even at this early stage it looked as good as over.

Lamh Dhearg, to their credit kept battling away with Dan Murray impressing at mid-field but the Tir na nOg pressure was relentless from every area of the field and the Whitehill side continued to drive forward in packs with Joe McCormick finding a lot of space.

Substitute Dara Martin and Alex O’Boyle added to the Randalstown side’s ever increasing total with Adam Murray pointing at the other end and the St. Mary’s CBGS student was almost in for a goal but his shot from close range came back of an upright and was cleared to safety.

That was as good as it got for lamh Dhearg as Alex McDonnell placed Shane Martin for Tir na nOg’s 5th goal with 8 minutes remaining and the Whitehill side finished strongly with points from Joe McCormick 0-2 and Conor McKenna with Adam Murray replying with his and his side’s 7th point to conclude the scoring.

Tir na nOg now meet neighbours Kickham’s Creggan in the semi-final and are likely to face a stiffer test than they did on this occasion but they will go into that one with a lot of confidence following today’s performance.

Tir na nOg: 1 Adam Reid, 2 Connor McCamphill, 3 Ethan Higgins, 4 Jude Carey, 17 Paul McCloskey, 6 Brandon McLarnon, 7 Sean McKeown, 8 Joshua Higgins, 9 Conor McKenna, 10 Alex O’Donnell, 11 Connor Hastings, 12 Joe McCormick, 13 Colla McDonnell, 18 Daniel O’Neill, 15 Shane Martin.

Subs: Darra Martin, |Brian Fitzgerald, Callum English, Odhran Murray, Eoin McCaughan.

Lamh Dhearg: 1 Rhys Camlin, 2 Matthew O’Boyle, 3 Aaron McCloskey, 4 Conor Rogan, 5 Declan Young, 6 Tiernan McKenna, 7 Christopher Tumelty, 8 Ciaran Boyd, 9 Dan Murray, 10 Evan Stanley, 11 Eoin Campbell, 12 Aidan McCauge, 13 Daire Cunningham, 21 Adam Murray, 15 Diarmuid Clenaghan. Subs: 19 Lee James Clarke, 23 Aidan Morrow

Referee: Paul Burns (Naomh Comhghall)

  

 Moneyglass claim the bragging rights

Under-20 Football League

Erin’s Own Cargin 3-08 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 3-12

Moneyglass claimed the bragging rights in the under-20 development league when they beat neighbours Carin in Toome in a closely fought encounter in the opening game of the U20 Football League on Saturday.

St Ergnat’s opened strongly as full forward Tyler Cassidy punished an unforced error to raise a green flag after Conleth McCann had opened the scoring with a point.

Cargin responded in kind when Tome Shivers pointed before the artistry of PJ Quinn opened the door for Dylan Gallagher to fire to the back of the net.

The game proceeded in tit for tat fashion as score at one end prompted similar at the other and at the end of the opening quarter the sides were tied on 1-04 apiece but the second quarter was to belong to the blue and saffron.

Back to back points from Josh Mc Cormac allowed the visitors to nip a couple clear before the latter launched a high delivery to find the back of the Cargin net.

The visitors were dominating and late points from Frank Duffin and a long range follow up by the industrious Kevin Mc Cann earned hi side a deserved 2-06 to 1-04 interval lead.

Cargin trailed by five but as the second half proceeded Tom Shivers pointed within a minute of the restart.

The visitors were quick in their response however and Kevin Mc Cann capitalised on a defensive mix up to plant the leather in the back of the Cargin net and Moneyglass had opened up an eight point lead 3-06 to 1-05.

The home side looked in trouble and they were about to receive another blow as their net minder Shea Laverty received a second yellow and faced a long trek to the side line a minute later.

Malachi Johnston took up the vacated position between the posts and was called into action to make a smart save to deny Shea Madden’s attempt to find the net.

Moneyglass continued to press and further scores from Tyler Cassidy and Charlie McCloskey extended the gap to 3-06 to 1-05.

The home side faced a mountain to climb at the commencement of the last quarter but a smart goal by the artistic PJ Quinn with a point to follow signalled hope, but such hope was soon to be dampened.

 Back came the visitors with a trio of white flags raised in turn by Conleth Mc Cann (2), and Tyler Cassidy to see them on the cusp of victory.

Cargin finish strongly with replacement Benen Kelly splitting the posts and Tom Shivers followed with a goal but the long blast was to follow with Moneyglass greeting the chequered flag with a 3-12 to 3-08 winning verdict.

Cargin: Shea Laverty, C Kennedy, Craig Thornton, Conan Kennedy, Malachai Johnston, Cahir Donnelly, Cahir Donnelly, Odhran Molloy (0-01), Conan Johnston, Shane Gribbon, PJ Quinn (1-03), Charlie Mc Cann, Conor Kelly, Tom Shivers (1-03), Dylan Gallagher (1-00)

Subs

Diarmuid Quinn for C Mc Cann

Ryan O’ Neill Dylan Gallagher

Cian Scullion C O’ Boyle

Benen Kelly for C Kennedy

Moneyglass: Rory Gribbin, James Mc Laughlin, Harry O’ Donnell, Ruairi Duffin, Jamie Totten, Matthew Mullan, Frank Duffin (0-01), Conor O’ Kane, Charlie Mc Closkey (0-01), Conleth Mc Cann (0-04), Kevin Mc Cann (1-02), James Mc Cormick (1-00), Tyler Cassidy (1-02), Shea Madden (1-01)

 Referee G Dougan (Kickham’s)

Strong start and devastating finish kills Antrim challenge

Leo Murphy Cup

Ulster U20 Football League

Antrim 0-10 Tyrone 4-17

A strong start and a devastating finish saw Tyrone run out convincing winners over Antrim in the opening game of the Leo Murphy Cup at Kelly Park, Portglenone today. In between the Saffrons battled hard to get back into contention but never really looked like overturning Tyrone’s early lead.

Rory Canavan and Ciaran Bogue pointed the visitors into an early lead before Canavan struck with the game’s opening goal. Antrim keeper Declan Heery looked in control as he soloed out of his goal area but was turned over and Canavan expertly applied the finish from 35 yards to an empty net.

When Luke Donnelly and Rory Canavan added points to make it 1-4 to 0-0 after six minutes it looked like being a long day for the young Saffrons but to their credit they stuck at it and began to enjoy a wee bit of success.

Aidan McAleese got the home side off the mark with a good point in the 10th minute and further points from Michael Ferris and a pointed free from McAleese had it back to four at the end of the opening quarter.

Tyrone extended their leads from two strongly disputed frees from Bogue and Canavan and the impressive Canavan added an excellent point from play to move his side seven in front by the 24th minute.

Decal Heery pushed a Michael McGinn goal bound shot over for a point as Tyrone threatened again but Antrim rallied and Aidan McAleese and Sean Duffin fired over the final two points of the opening half to leave six between the sides at the break.

Tyrone opened the second half on the offensive and Michael McGinn and Rory Canavan struck early points but Michael Ferris and Aidan McAleese replied with similar score for the home side to keep the gap at six with eight minutes of the new half gone.

The visitors were always able to keep a healthy gap between the sides however as Niall Devlin fired over a couple of good points but McAleese from another free kept his side in touch as Antrim made a couple of substitutions with Sean O’Neill replaced Rian Lennon and Fergus Donnelly came on for Reuben Carleton.

The better conditioning and fitness of Paul Devlin’s side was starting to tell as Steve Donaghy struck a fine long range point and when Ciaran Bogue followed up to send to the net after Heery in the Antrim goals pulled off a great save in the 21st minute the writing was on the wall.

Both sides gave their benches a run out in the closing stages and Antrim pushed Ruairi Hagan, who had been doing a solid job as sweeper, up front and it left the home side vulnerable in defence.

Tyrone dominated the closing minutes with Ciaran Bogue striking with goals in the 26th and 33d minute to put a slightly flattering edge to the final scoreline. Tyrone though were convincing winners in the end and look like a team that may be hard to beat as the season progresses.

While well beaten, Antrim can take some comfort from parts of their performance and after conceding that early seven point lead they matched Tyrone score for score for a time and the gap was still at seven until Bogue struck with Tyrone’s second goal after 51 minutes.

Its early days and Antrim certainly have a number of talented individuals in their side and Niall Jackman, Aaron Douglas, Paddy Kelly, Stephen Bateson and Stephen Shanks will be working hard with their side in the coming weeks to eradicate those silly mistakes and turn them into a competitive unit.

Antrim: Declan Heery, Reuben Carleton, Cahir Donnelly, Eoin Gough, Ronan Boyle, Cathal Hynds, Conall McGirr, Eunan Quinn, Calum Higgins, Aidan McAleese, Rian Lennon, Sean Duffin, Fionn Nagle, Paudie McLaughlin, Ruairi Hagan, Subs Used: Sean O’Neill, Fergus Donnelly, Ryan McQuillan, PJ Quinn

Tyrone: Stephen McMenemin, Caolan McGirty, Brian Conway, Eoin Corry, Michael Rafferty, Steve Donaghy, Niall Devlin, Ciaran Daly, Seamus Donaghy, Odhran McGrath, Luke Donnelly, Rory Canavan, Ciaran Bogue, Michael McGinn, Sean O’Donnell. Subs Used:Tiernan McGarrity, Ronan Donnelly, Dan Muldoon, Michael McCann, Shay Daley.