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Fixtures & Results 2011 - ACFL Div 1

ACFL Div 1
27 Jul 2011
Rasharkin 1-09 v 0-13 Cargin

Ciaran Close denies St.Mary's Rasharkin at Dreen

Rasharkin's senior footballers played host to Erins own Cargin in round fourteen of the Antrim Football League Division One on Wednesday past at Dreen. This was the third meeting of these sides already this season with the Toome outfit claiming early league points at home against St.Mary's back in May. However, Rasharkin did gain some compensation when they defeated Cargin in the O'Cahan Cup Final in June.

These exchanges mean very little to both sides who have been drawn against each other in the preliminary round of this years Senior Football Championship. This game would prove to be a distraction as both clubs have their sights firmly focused on the real showdown in eleven days time.

The visitors wasted no time in settling into this fixture, Ciaran Close opened their account on two minutes following a surging run and lay off from Paul McCann. Gerard O'Boyle obliged from the set piece after four minutes as the home side struggled to gets to grips with the sleek Cargin interchanges up front. Cargin's top of the right Ciaran Kelly opened up a three point lead on the five minute mark when he watched is twenty five yard strike sail over the Rasharkin crossbar.

St.Mary's got the kick start they needed after seven minutes when Johnny McAleese found himself one on one with Cargin net minder John McNabb, following a perfectly weighted pass from Joey Quinn. Top marksman McAleese didn't disappoint the home crowd when he lifted the roof on the Cargin net and it was "game on". The home side with their tails up fired over to take the lead after eleven through their skipper Paul Doherty.

Erins Own responded from the resultant kick out, midfielder John Carron collected possession from McNabb's kick out to lay off to wing half back Tony Scullion who split open the Rasharkin defence and fire over. It was now St.Mary's wing half back Thomas Doherty who showed the forwards how to do it; he finished his supporting run with a brilliant effort from thirty yards to push the home side in front once more. McAleese punished the Cargin's indiscipline at the back from the set piece when he doubled Rasharkin's lead at the end of the first quarter.

St.Mary's now well in the groove opened up a three point lead on eighteen minutes when McAleese took his personal tally to 1-2 when he split the posts from forty yards. The visitors rose to the challenge with a flurry of points in four minutes to haul the sides level. Tomas McCann started the quest with a perfectly converted forty five following a finger tip save from Rasharkin's keeper Ryan Doherty by a shot from Gerard O'Boyle. Close landed another from the set piece before Cargin's wing half forward Paul McCann had the sides on terms four minutes before the break.

Paul Doherty steadied the ship for the home side finishing the half with two screamers after twenty eight and thirty minutes to leave half time score line St.Mary's 1-6 Erins Own 0-7.

The drizzling rain which had never ceased throughout the first half continued into the second making free flowing football difficult for both sides. Ciaran Close was again the outlet for Cargin when he left the deficit to the minimum from a free two minutes after the restart. Rasharkin replied with a fisted effort from Paul Doherty after seven, before Close tacked on another for the visitors. Joey Quinn quickly restored the two point cushion with a brilliant left footed effort from long range.

Enda McGroggan intercepted a Rasharkin kickout mid way through the half and returned over the bar before Close drew the tie all square for the fourth time after twenty three minutes of the second half. Rasharkin's corner forward Eamon McNeill finally got compensation for this work when he registered St.Mary's tenth score and nudged his side in front with five minutes on the clock.

Cargin's Close levelled yet again inside the last five and it was he who finished the tie converting a well taken free and bring his return to nine points to win by the narrowest margin. Full time St.Mary's 1-9 Erins Own 0-13.

Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Connor Gribben, Sean Hasson, Michael Hasson, Conor Hasson, Alan McNeill, Thomas Doherty, Paul Doherty (Capt) and Cathal Mooney, Declan McKay, Brendan Etherson, Ryan Lynch, Eamon McNeill, Johnny McAleese and Joey Quinn.

Subs used: Shane Hasson

Cargin: John McNabb, Brian McCann, Gerard McCann, Donagh McKeever, Tony Scullion, Justin Crozier, Martin Kane, Mick McCann (Capt) and John Carron, Enda McGroggan, Ciaran Close, Paul McCann, Ciaran Kelly, Tomas McCann and Gerard O'Boyle.

Subs used: James Laverty, Fearghal Johnston

Referee: Gerard Dougan (Kickhams Creggan)