GAA Football

St John's and Creggan reach last four of Antrim SFC

Ciaran Garland of St John's and Glenavy's James Gallagher are red-carded during Saturday's Antrim SFC quarter-final Picture by Seamus Loughran
Anthony Gunning

Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC quarter-finals

St John’s 2-15 St Joseph’s, Glenavy 0-9

THERE were 12 points between the sides after this quarter-final at Hannahstown on Saturday evening, but the margin was perhaps a little unkind as a late burst of 2-3 put a gloss on the score for St John’s.

The Johnnies had plenty of the ball in this game, but they were stifled by the defensive efforts of Glenavy who forced them into shooting from range with a tricky breeze blowing across the field which saw them kick 13 wides.

Still, the Johnnies were always in control. The sides traded early frees from Patrick McBride and Alex Gallagher but St John’s gradually pulled clear with scores from Jack Hannigan, McBride and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Glenavy responded with Dominic Gallagher and Jonathan Phillips scores to trail by just one on 26 minutes, but the west Belfast men finished the half strongly with a Conor Johnston score and an excellent double from Michael Bradley to go into a 0-7 to 0-3 half-time lead.

McBride and Michael McCourt traded early frees in the second half before Johnston and McBride added further points to extend the gap to six.

Glenavy then lost Conor Hamill to a second yellow card, but they reeled off points from Patrick Gallagher and James Gallagher to leave four in it once again.

The sides traded points before Glenavy’s Chris Scullion was black-carded, although they got back to three points with a McCourt free.

The sides traded further points to leave just three in it again before Glenavy’s James Gallagher and St John’s defender Ciaran Garland were red-carded for an off-the-ball tangle.

This ended any hopes Glenavy had of getting any closer as Ryan McNulty kicked a free for St John’s before Michael Bradley slid in at the back post to divert McNulty’s ball across goal into the net in the first minute of added time.

Fitzpatrick blasted to the net a minute later while McNulty and Conal McGlade added further points to put further gloss on the result for St John’s and set up a last four date with champions Cargin.

St John’s scorers: M Bradley 1-2, C Johnston 0-4, P McBride 0-4f, M Fitzpatrick 1-1, R McNulty 0-2 (1f), J Hannigan 0-1, C McGlade 0-1

Glenavy scorers: J Phillips 0-2, M McCourt 0-2f, J Gallagher 0-2, P Gallagher 0-1, D Gallagher 0-1, A Gallagher 0-1f

Kickhams, Creggan 0-13 St Mary’s, Ahoghill 1-7

CREGGAN reached the last four of this year’s Antrim SFC, but they were made to work for it by Ahoghill at Toome on Saturday.

It was the St Mary’s men who enjoyed a dream start when Donal Graham found the net just four minutes in.

Both sides had goal chances in the opening half with Creggan’s Conor Small seeing his effort come off the crossbar in the 16th minute, while PJ O’Connell’s effort produced a stunning save from Oisin Kerr off the post and away to safety.

Ahoghill, buoyed by their great start, held a four-point lead approaching the break, but three Creggan scores in as many minutes saw them pull the deficit back to one –1-5 to 0-7 – at the break.

The Creggan management introduced Mark Dougan at the interval and the Creggan man made a huge impact, kicking three points, with his physical presence helping Kevin and Conor Small make inroads.

They were to edge ahead for the first time in the game on 39 minutes through Conor Small as Ahoghill’s shooting began to let them down.

Kevin Rice and Conor McCann also got on the board as Creggan held on for a victory that sets-up a semi-final meeting with Lámh Dhearg.

Creggan scorers: K Small 0-3 (1f), M Dougan 0-3 (2f), C Small 0-2, Conor McCann 0-1, C McCann 0-1, O McLarnon 0-1, K Rice 0-1, C Devlin 0-1

Ahoghill scorers: PJ O’Connell 0-3 (1f), D Graham 1-0p, D O’Neill 0-2, T McGlone 0-1,

J O’Connell 0-1

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