Antrim SFC: Cargin cruise home to cement top spot in Group 1

Cargin struck five goals, with Pat Shivers notching 2-2 from play. Pic: Mark Marlow.
Cargin struck five goals, with Pat Shivers notching 2-2 from play. Pic: Mark Marlow.

Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship, Group One


St John's2-9

GOAL-HUNGRY Cargin powered into the last eight of the Antrim Senior Football Championship as they took care of business at home to St John's last night.

The result, along with Rossa's draw at Tír na nÓg, means the Johnnies are out of the race and they will be disappointed at how their challenge fell apart after a spirited fightback after falling six behind early on.

After a topsy-turvy opening half, the hosts took firm control and had the points in the bag long before the final whistle to make it three wins from three in the group phase.

Cargin couldn't have asked for a better start as, after Patrick McBride gave the Johnnies an early lead from a free, they would hit back-to-back goals.

The first, on four minutes, came when Eunan Quinn gathered low and although he appeared to be fouled, played Conhuir Johnston in to finish. Two minutes later, Pat Shivers opted against the mark and was through to crash home.

But the Johnnies, aided by the wind and inspired by Paddy McBride, clawed their way back level with McBride kicking four, while Conall Bohill and Conall Quinn also chipped in.

However, just as it seemed they were gaining the upper hand, Cargin blitzed them again. After Pat Shivers kicked a free, a stray kickout was gathered by Shivers who rounded Padraig Nugent to roll home.

Nugent would save the city side on a number of occasions in the opening period, but could do nothing to deny James Laverty, who was put in and guided high to the net to help Cargin into a 4-3 to 0-9 advantage after a see-saw opening period.

Cargin rattled off three quick scores after the resumption with Shivers kicking a beauty with the outside of the boot and Tomás McCann playing a no-look pass for Johnston to curl over, but the Johnnies grabbed what they thought was a lifeline as Conall Quinn was tripped inside the area and Connor Hand sent the penalty to the net.

However, it was wiped out in identical fashion a minute later as Ciaran Garland upended Eunan Quinn and McCann made no mistake.

This was the argument settled as Cargin piled on the scores through McCann, Shivers and Quinn, and while Conor Johnston lashed to the net late on for the Johnnies, it was little but consolation as they exited the competition with Cargin through as group winners to face either Aghagallon or Moneyglass. 

CARGIN: J McNabb; S O'Neill, K McShane, K O'Boyle; J Crozier, P McCann, C Donnelly; G McCann, J Laverty (1-0); D Johnston, T McCann (1-6, 1-0 pen, 0-6 frees), C Johnston (1-1); P Shivers (2-4, 0-2 frees), M Kelly, E Quinn (0-1).

Subs: R Gribbin for S O'Neill (45), C Bradley for T McCann (50), P McLaughlin for M Kelly (54), S Og Quinn for K O'Boyle (54), B Laverty for J Crozier (56)

ST JOHN'S: P Nugent; J Bohill, R McNulty, C Garland; A McGowan, Ciaran Johnston, L Laverty; S McDonagh, C Hand (1-0 pen); R McCafferty, P McBride (0-6, 5 frees), C Gough; Conor Johnston (1-0), C Bohill (0-2), C Quinn (0-1).

Subs: A Oliver for R McCafferty (HT), S Tierney for R McNulty (51), C McGlade for C Quinn (51), C Dyson for A McGowan (51), O Mac Manus for C Hand (56)n

REFEREE: Paddy Tumelty (Lámh Dhearg)