Photographs & Report: Joe Rice
O’Neill’s ACHL Division 3
Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh 5-16 Kickham’s Creggan 1-18
Should Kickham’s Creggan fail to get promotion from division 3 at the end of the season then they will look back on the last seven days with a lot of regret. A week ago they topped the division but three defeats on the trot against Carey, Clooney Gaels and this one away to Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh has put a serious dent in their promotion hopes.
The sun shone as the Antrim side entered the field. Their opponent’s management seemed quite surprised to see Creggan line-out with the bare minimum of players but recent injuries and suspensions have dipped deep into the Creggan panel.
As referee, Rab Lappin, got the action under way the men in green & yellow made an encouraging opening. Creggan were on top for the first five minutes and they looked to have taken control with Conor McCann, Kevin Small and Teddy McKeown firing over early points.
Undeterred, Dungannon responded with three of their own through Cathal McErlean, Damien Casey and Matthew Mulgrew to level the contest with ten minutes gone. The visitors looked stunned and it took a further 7 minutes to restore their 3 point lead. Conor McCann from 2 pointed frees and Thomas McCann from play were them Kickham’s marksmen.
As the Antrim lads steadied the ship, Matthew Mulgrew for Eoghan Ruadh left his marker and sprinted into the corner to stop a fast moving ball crossing the Creggan end-line and while under pressure he drove it low from an impossible angle across the face of the Creggan goal.
James Dougan, the Creggan Keeper got his hurl to it but it somehow ended in the net and the Tyrone men were back on level terms with 20 minutes gone. It was tit for tat from then until the break as both sides added 4 points, Conor McCann, Oran McCann, Thomas McCann & Kevin Small for Creggan and Damien Casey getting three of the Eoghan Ruadh points.
Casey was the target man for Eoghan Ruadh and after missing a couple of chances he got on the end of a high delivery, turned and drilled an unstoppable effort to the visitors net. At the short whistle Creggan were 3 points behind but still looked very much in the game.
The Tyrone side got the second half action underway in style with a point from Kiefer Morgan while Creggan’s Conor McCann added to his tally from a pointed free. For the next nine minutes both sides traded scores and it still looked anybody’s game.
Josh Ferguson struck a superb 30 metre side-line cut over the bar as Dungannon started to find their form and with the wind at their backs, net minder Ciaran McCrudden was continually pucking the ball out 80 to 90 metres causing serious problems for the Creggan defence.
The pressure finally paid off as Piaras McErlean managed to get a touch to flick the sliotar over the line to give the Tyrone side their second major. Creggan’s Conor McCann responded almost immediately with Eoghan Ruadh losing a player to a Red card after hauling down the Kickham’s danger man for the second time.
When McCann broke through to finish to the net a come-back looked possible but the visitors were only able to add four further points through Conor McCann 0-3 and Liam Quinn as Eoghan Ruadh took control.
Taking advantage of McCrudden’s massive puck outs and with the breeze at their backs the Dungannon side started to turn the screw, adding a further 3-8 as the Creggan challenge crumbled.
Matthew Mulgrew increased his personal tally to 2-03 while Damien Casey notched up 1-8 as the scores came thick and fast and the visitors had no answer to this excellent pair who were a thorn in their flesh all night.
Dungannon will be pleased with their performance tonight while the visitors will be hoping to get most of their missing players back sooner rather than later as they attempt to resurrect a season that has gone pear shape over the past seven day.
DUNGANNON – No.1 Ciaran McCrudden, No.2 Paul Lavery, No.3 Mark Winter, No.4 Michael Donnelly, No.5 Locran Devlin 0.1, No.6 Stephen Donnelly, No.7 Kiefer Morgan 0.2, No.8 Shaun Donaghy, No.9 Josh Ferguson 0.1, No.10 Piaras McErlean 1.1, No.11 Pierse O’Kelly, No.12 Cathal McErlean 0.1, No.13 Matthew Mulgrew 2.3, No.14 Damien Casey 1.8, No.15 Martin Devlin, No.16 Stevie Currie, No.17 Michael Donnelly, No. 18 Padraig Hughes, No.19 Damhnaic Rushe, No.20 Ben Gormley, No.22 Fearghal Devlin, No.23 Padraig Mallon, No.24 Patrick McKillon.
CREGGAN – No.1 James Dougan, No.2 Mick Maguire, No.3 Dannan O’Hara, No.4 Donal Carey, No.5 Liam McCann, No. 6 Kevin Small 0.2, No.7 Teddy McKeown 0.1, No.8 Rory McCann, No. 9 Sam Maguire 0.2, No.10 Thomas McCann 0.1, No.11 Enda Maguire, No.12 Oran McCann 0.1, No.13 Jake McAteer, No. 14 Conor McCann 1.10, No.15 Liam McCann 0.1.
Referee: Rab Lappin