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McCann late show spares Cargin's blushes

By John Campbell

Antrim senior football champions Cargin came close to relinquishing their crown when they were held to a draw by St John's in yesterday's semi-final.

Two late points from Tomas McCann rescued the title-holders and allowed them to fight another day when the match ended in stalemate at 0-11 each.

Cargin looked in trouble at one stage when they trailed by 0-11 to 0-5 but the injection of inspiration that Tony Scullion provided when he was sent in from the bench proved crucial.

The veteran defender's surging bursts discomfited the St John's defence and paved the way for Ciaran Close, John McCarron and McCann to grab points.

With St John's forced onto the back foot, Cargin finished strongly and McCann's equalising point from a free keeps their hopes to adding to the title haul intact.

Meanwhile, Paddy Cunningham's accuracy from frees in particular cemented a 1-13 to 1-9 win over Creggan Kickhams in the other semi-final.

The former Antrim skipper was in imperious form from all angles and distances and played a big part in helping his side into their 1-6 to 1-3 interval lead.

It was after Kevin Small had plundered a Creggan Kickhams goal in the first minute that Lamh Dhearg were forced to show their character and Cunningham sealed their first-half recovery by stabbing home their goal in the 26th minute.

Lamh Dhearg remained in control in the second-half with Cunningham again to th fore as the Creggan Kickhams defence strove to contain him.

Along with the industrious Conor Murray he shared 1-7 of the winners' total while the Small brothers Kevin and Conor snapped up scores for Creggan Kickhams - but not enough of them to prevent Lamh Dhearg sealing their place in the final.

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