ACHL Division 3
Kickhams Creggan 2.12 Eoghan Ruadh 1.8.
Report and pics by Joe Rice
Creggan hosted Eoghan Ruadh at Pairc Ciceam. With the sun shining, rain threatening and the wind blowing the Lough Shore men took to the field and quickly raised the first flag. Conor McCann intercepted a pass from the throw-in from Teddy McKeown and raced up the pitch to blast the ball past Dungannon’s Paul Lavery to put his side a goal up in the first few seconds. His older brother, Thomas McCann took the next score from a pointed free. Dungannon responded well to Creggan’s initial assault but their sharpshooters were wide off the mark putting three scoreable chances wide, two from Duibhir Marshall and another from Mark Devlin. Conor McCann pointed again for Creggan before the Tyrone men finally got off the mark with a point on target 30 metres out from Duibhir Marshall. With 10 minutes of the first half gone both Small brothers, Conor & Kevin, notched up one wide a piece as Padraig McHugh put a rasper past the Creggan keeper, Emmet Long, to leave the minimum between the two teams. Creggan’s accuracy didn’t get much better with three further wides and Dungannon were missing opportunities also with Damien Casey’s free going left to the outside of the upright and wide. Cahill McErlean pointed to level the game for Dungannon with 15 minutes gone on the clock as both teams tally of wides increased. Kevin Rice’s sideline cut sailed wide within inches of the upright followed by two further wides from his teammates, Conor Small & Conor McCann. These missed opportunities were equalled by Dungannon’s Damien Casey, Ciaran McCrudden and Matthew Mulgrew. With 5 minutes to go to the short whistle, Oran McCann pointed for the home side from a 60 metre free while Damien Casey responded with a 30 minute free from the opposite end of the field. The home side’s Thomas McCann got his second point of the game from play to leave his side one up. Conor Small playing deep for the home side was rewarded with his 2nd attempt on goal rattling the ball past Dungannon’s net-minder, Paul Lavery. The visitors responded in the dying seconds of the first half taking a point from free before Referee, Kevin Park, blew the whistle.
Half Time – Creggan 2.5, Eoghan Ruadh 1.5.
The throw-in for the second half was delayed by a heavy sun shower and when the two sides finally did come out Creggan seemed to come out determined looking for goals. This was their game plan for the first few minutes of resumed play as Conor Small, Conor McCann & Kevin Rice opted to take on the goalkeeper when they could have easily scored points. Dungannon’s goalkeeper, Paul Lavery, was forced to pull off several saves from driving balls at close range and had it not have been for his skills there would have been three more in the back of the net. Conor McCann got the first score from play of the second half for Creggan while Cahill McErlean pointed moments later for Dungannon. Oran McCann for the home side popped the next two points over, both from frees, while the visitors responded with a point from p’Ay from No.11, Damien Casey, off the hurl 20 metres out. With three-quarters of the match gone, Conor McCann increased Creggan’s tally with another point as the Creggan outfit increased their assault on the Dungannon backline looking for goals. Oran McCann from a free got the next point from the home side. This was followed by two points from the visitors, both frees, scored by Damien Casey. The last score of the contest was in the dying seconds as Kevin Rice, for the home side, pointed from play, moments before the final whistle.
When these two teams met last year in the League, only one point separated them at the final whistle. Eoghan Ruadh will return to Tyrone deeply disappointed for losing this one as they levelled the game twice and had the firepower to grind out a win but the luck was with the Creggan side who are renowned for upping their game when under pressure. Maybe this is a legacy from their ‘All-Ireland Junior Hurling Final’ when they started the second half with 11 points down and drew the game. As they rest their hurls for the next five weeks, Creggan’s management will be pleased with their charges having won 5 out of 5 games.
Creggan: No 1. Emmet Long, No 2. Jake McAteer, No 3. Aidan Maguire, No 4. Danaan O’Hara, No 5. Ciaran Rice, No 6. Kevin Small, No 7. Kealan McCann, No 8. Sam Maguire, No 9. Aidan McKeown, No 10. Kevin Rice (0.1), No 11. Niall McAuley, No 12. Oran McCann (0.5 (frees), No 13. Conor Small (1.0), No 14. Conor McCann (1.4), No 15. Thomas McCann (0.2), No 16. Enda Maguire, No 17. Joe Sweeney, No 18. Michael Maguire.
Eoghan Ruadh: No 1. Paul Lavery, No 2. Conor McNally, No 3. Padraig Hughes, No 4. Ruari Devlin, No 5. Josh Ferguson, No 6. Lorcan Devlin, No 7. Padraig Mallon, No 8. Cahill McErlean (0.2), No 9. Padraig McHugh (1.0), No 10. Ciaran McCrudden, No 11. Damien Casey (0.6 (3 frees), No 12. Duibhir Marshall (0.1), No 13. Mark Devlin, No 14. Pierce O’Kelly, No 15. Matthew Mulgrew, No 16. John Devlin, No 17. Dan McCrudden.