One win, one loss in the run for league honours

Thursday, 27 July 2017

THE final five games, following the recent split in the Division 1 football league, are the ultimate test and Cargin certainly got away to flier with victory against Creggan, one of their two main challengers in their quest to retain the title.
At home to Creggan they did the business with a four point victory, 0-11 to 0-7,. and with St Gall's slipping up to St John's in their midweek clash, things couldn't have worked out better for the South West Champions.
A blistering start saw the Toome side hit three on the trot in wet and slippery conditions but the sure footed Enda McGrogan and the McCann brothers Michael and Tomas saw them take a first quarter lead which they never lost.
It took some 20 minutes before Creggan got on the scoreboard through Conor Small but any thoughts of a comeback were soon discounted when Ciaran Bradley fisted over a well executed Cargin score.
Conditions played a big part in the low scoring nature of this clash but the home side did manage a final first half point, a pointed Tomas McCann free, to lead comfortably, 0-5 to 0-1 at the break.
The champions domination continued on the restart with Kieran Close and Tomas McCann extending their lead to six and all but sewing up the league points.
Creggan however, true to form, were far from finished and came back with a vengeance.
Minor, Liam Quinn who came on as a second half replacement set up Kevin Small after 12 minutes with his brother Conor adding another a couple of minutes later, and the game was back in the melting pot.
While Kieran Close's 30 metre free at the start of the final quarter indicated Cargins intent, Kickhams moved even closer with a couple more scores.
Oran McLarnon was in action in 16 with Conor Small adding his third a minute later and only a goal separated the sides at this stage at 0-8 to 0-5.
Then, just when it looked that Creggan had got a foot hold, Tomas McCann hit back to back points to restore a five point advantage with just six minutes remaining.
Down, but certainly not out, Creggan made one last desperate bid to win this derby game with the Small brothers Conor and Kevin again firing over points but it was the champions who had the last say with Tomas McCann claiming his sixth point of the game.
Now three points clear of Creggan and St John's and four in front of St Gall's the champions looked well on their way to retaining their league crown.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.


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