ACFL Div. 1 - Kickhams Vs St. Brigids

24 April 2008

ACFL Div. 1
23 April 2008
St. Brigids 2-07
Kickhams Creggan 1-11

This was Creggan’s second match of the 2008 league season and their first ever trip to Harlequins Rugby Ground to play St. Brigids. The Home team have had a remarkable rise through the league structures in a short space of time to reach their present position in Division 1 and after an impressive opening day win over Lamh Dearg this team was not be underestimated.

And so it proved to be the case as St. Brigids came roaring out of the blocks to score a goal in what was effectively their first foray forward. A ball was lobbed in to their full forward line where it evaded everyone including the Creggan ‘keeper Leon Bonnes as it bounced high over his head and in to the net.

Creggan got their score board rolling with a pointed free from half forward Thomas McCann on 9 minutes. St. Brigids though cancelled this out with a similar score of their own and on 15 minutes found themselves 7 points ahead when they converted to the net once again.

A stiff challenge was certainly presented to the Lough Shore men now to find a way back into this game. They began to make inroads in to the deficit with a great long range point from midfielder Darrell Martin, but this was responded to by the home side to restore their lead.

Odhran McLarnon and Thomas McCann each got a point for the visitors at the end of the first half and these were either side of a St. Brigids score to leave the half time tally 2-04 to 0-04.

Whatever Creggan’s management team said at half time seemed to have an affect as the second period was almost totally dominated by the visitors. From the throw-in Creggan kicked over 5 points without reply to reduce the arrears to the minimum. Odhran McLarnon getting three of those scores and Adrian Dougan claiming the other two.

St. Brigids halted the green and gold momentum momentarily when they notched their first score of the second half on 41 minutes, but this was cancelled out when Creggan’s Peter McCollum raised the white flag. The visiting side just couldn’t seem to get that all important score to draw themselves level as both teams traded points to leave it a two point game going in to the closing minutes.

That was all to change when wing half back Mark Anthony McNicholl evaded a couple of challenges on the right hand side and he squared the ball to Odhran McLarnon who deposited it to the onrushing Dougan who fired to the net.

For the first time in the match Creggan were ahead and the opportunity to put the final nail in the coffin was passed up by Dermot McCann when he soloed half the length of the pitch to eventually kick wide with only the ‘keeper to beat. He needed not to worry as the final whistle blew from the resultant kick out to leave Creggan picking up another two league points by the narrowest of margins.

This was a hard fought win for Kickhams but they will take great encouragement for the never say die attitude they displayed to fight back from a seemingly impossible position to steal the victory. Best for the visitors on the night were Caolan McCann at corner back who was superb; Darrell Martin at midfield for his immaculate fielding; Adrian Dougan at centre forward for his crucial goal and minor Odhran McLarnon who finished with a personal tally of 5 points.

Next up for Creggan is a home tie against St. Galls on Sunday 4th May.

Kickhams Team - Leon Bonnes, Caolan McCann, Tony Close, Sean McLarnon (Paul Russell), Mark Anthony McNicholl, Dermot McCann, Danny Maguire, Darrell Martin (0-01), Hugh McKay, Thomas McCann (0-02), Adrian Dougan (1-02), Peter McCollum (0-01), Joe Robb, Oliver Duffin (Benny Devlin), Odhran McLarnon (0-05).