Published on August 4th, 2016 | by admin0
Minor Football Championship Dunloy 0-10 Creggan 1-06
In what was a great advertisement for Minor football in Antrim it pitted the best two teams in the south west against each other in the first round of the championship. Creggan starting the game favourites but to anyone outside the club there was no doubt who they thought would win and they came out in their numbers to support the lads.
Dunloy settled quickest and lead 0-03 to 0-00 after ten minutes, two great points from midfielders Keelan Molloy and Declan Smith followed by a Conal ‘Coby’ Cunning free and bar for an outstanding save from Creggan goalkeeper Dunloy would have been six up. Creggan got their first score after fifteen minutes from a free well out the field which was converted by Kevin Small. Dunloy then added two more points with Fergal Dillon getting on the score sheet with a fine score and another great solo effort from Smith before Creggan replied with Small converting another long range free. With twenty-five minutes gone Dunloy led 0-05 – 0-02. Goalkeeper Frankie Cochrane then landed a 45 straight between the posts before Dunloy’s second goal chance came when the lively Seaan Elliott burst through on goal leaving two defenders trailing in his wake but yet again the Creggan net minder kept them in the game with another super save.
The half finished with a fine Elliott point from play leaving the scores 0-07 – 0-02. Dunloy the happier team at the break restricting Creggan to two points from thirty yard frees but knowing as well those missed goal chances may prove costly.
The second half started well for Dunloy after a minute Coby increased Dunloy’s lead to six with his first score from play. This seemed to fire Creggan up and they hit three unanswered points in a row Kevin Small the man again with two fine points from play and long range free. Dunloy still led by three but then disaster struck – a mix up in defence resulted in a one on one situation which left Cochrane in nets no chance and Creggan were level.
After playing all the football Dunloy were now only level and the Creggan fans were in full roar as were the players. Dunloy needed the next score and they got it. With only ten minutes’ left Smith burst from midfield skipped a few tackles and slotted the ball right between the posts from twenty-five yards and the cheer that went up was deafening. Dunloy then were forced into a substitution with five minutes left when Smith was fouled coming out with the ball and the Creggan player left the field after receiving a black card for his tackle. Smith left the field with a broken collar bone which was a massive blow to Dunloy never mind to the young man himself as he was without doubt up to this point the best player on the park.
Dunloy now knew they had to dig deep and the chances came and went at either end before Small yet again struck another thirty plus yard free levelled the score. There was thirty-one minutes on the clock when a short kick out from Dunloy was cleverly worked up the field to Aaron Crawford who had dropped back to cover around midfield, as he had been doing all game, he then played a ball with the outside of his right foot over the half backs head on to a rushing Ewan Dixon that left Ewan one on one with the Creggan keeper. The defender had no choice but foul him tackling him from behind. So it was over to Conal Doherty Cunning – twenty-one yards stood between Dunloy and possible victory. There was never any doubt over and went and whistles from Dunloy fans were now been heard as Creggan launched one last attack a high ball in to target man Small which was dealt with by captain Cathair McGuigan and cleared away and with that Sean Laverty blew his whistle. The game was over and the supporters cheered, the joy on the Dunloy players and management faces was clear to see.
From numbers 1-15 Dunloy were superb with the 3 u16s Aaron, Anton and Seaan putting in shifts any senior would be proud off.
In Defence marking Liam Quinn, many believe Quinn is the best forward in Antrim Minor football, Conor Kinsella never gave him a kick never mind a point – a masterclass in defending from a fantastic young footballer. Lee Scott given the difficult task of marking the County full forward Kevin Small was immense. Small troubled the scoreboard six times but only twice from play a brilliant hours work from Scott.
In midfield Molloy yet again was different class ran himself into the ground and won everything that was kicked near him a complete display from this multi-talented young man
In the forwards the movement of Seaan and Coby in the full forward line caused Creggan all sorts of problems, you could hear Creggan fans moan any time Seaan got on the ball they knew what was coming his pace is frightening. Coby is the man for the big occasion and never lets his team down as he showed with a stoppage time winner a fine induvial performance from him.
Can’t see anyone arguing with the man of the match selection – for fifty-five minutes Decky Smith ran the show. Creggan could not deal with him in the air or on the ground. This young man is as complete a footballer as you are likely to see at this level. A broken collar bone may slow him down for a while but no doubt he will be back and for his teammates and management they will hope that will be sooner rather than later.
Next up a trip to St Galls on the 16th August for the Quarter Final there is a long way to go with no trophies won as yet but it will take a very good team to stop this exciting young squad. There is fresh hope around the village that the thirty-nine year wait for an Antrim minor football championship may be coming to an end.
- Frankie Cochrane (0-01, 45)
- Anton McGrath
- Lee Scott
- Conor Kinsella
- Ewan Dixon
- Cathair McGuigan ©
- Chrissy McMahon
- Decky Smith (0-03)
- Keelan Molly (0-01)
- Liam McCann
- Eoin O’Neill
- Aaron Crawford
- Seaan Elliott (0-01)
- Conal Cunning (0-03, 0-02 frees)
- Fergal Dillon (0-01)