North Antrim U16 B Championship Final Kickhams Vs St. Endas

11 August 2008
NA U16 B Championship Final
11 August 2008
Kickhams Creggan 4-13
St. Endas 4-09

In a repeat of the Senior hurlers Breslin Cup Final match up last month, Creggan travelled to Cushendall for the U16 final against St. Endas with the bare minimum 15 players which included four ‘wee’ U14’s.

After a hesitant start which saw a number of wides, Creggan produced a good spell where they went in front 2-04 to 1 point before St. Endas scrambled a goal when a loose ball wasn’t properly cleared by the defence.

Dannan O’Hara knocked over a point not long after coming on (young Dannan arrived late for the game!) and this was followed by Conor McCann who scored the second of his frees. It was the Belfast side that finished the half stronger though by scoring 1-01 on the bounce to leave the half time score Kickhams Creggan 2-06, St. Endas 2-03. All to play for!

At the restart Conor got the first score with a point but St. Endas retaliated with purpose by bagging a goal and 2 points to take the lead for the first time in the match. With great management acumen and tactical nous, a few positional switches were made with Aidan McKeown retreating in to the full back position and Conor McCann moving out to centre field. These switches resulted in some sustained Creggan pressure and a scoring blitz of 2-04 without reply was the outcome. Odhran McCann’s ground strike found the net, Conor grabbed 1-02 and Dannan drove 2 shots just over the bar which could easily have resulted in goals.

The score was now 4-10 to 3-05 in favour of the G&G, but credit to the young St. Enda’s boys who never lied down. The were rewarded a penalty which they converted and scored a further 2 points which brought them right back in to the match.

Conor kept the Creggan noses in front by grabbing another point for the lough shore men, but Endas closed the gap again by sailing over a pair of points to leave just a puck of the ball between the sides, 4-12 to 4-09.

It was time to dig in and win the messy balls and the Creggan lads did just that as they hassled and harried like mad men. There were ‘terrier-like’ performances from Kevin Rice and Conleth McGrenaghan in defence, with Fergal Shivers, Martin Johnston and Ryan Nelson strong between the two ‘45’s’.

The insurance point was scored by big Marty Johnston from a long distance out to wrap up the game and ensure Creggan’s name is on the trophy for the first time in this competition.

It was an exciting game that was played between two teams that gave it their all and who have to be commended for their passion and commitment. With boys to return from holidays that missed this game, the team now look forward to playing in Casement in the County Final against the Belfast winners.

Thanks too to the ‘female supporters’ who travelled with the team and to the other supporters that made the journey on a wet miserable evening to the ‘Dall.

Kickhams Scorers: Conor McCann (2-09), Martin Johnston (1-01), Odhran McCann (1-0), Dannan O’Hara (0-03).

Match report kindly supplied by Paul O’Neill