Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Creggan forced into replay

Creggan Kickhams 2-21 Ballysaggart 5-12

In flight: Kevin Rice of Creggan Kickhams

Creggan Kickhams came within seconds of claiming an AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling title at Croke Park on Saturday, but the chance is certainly not lost after a thrilling draw after extra-time at GAA Headquarters.

Trailing by 10 points, in the 33rd minute of normal time, it looked like the Antrim outfit's chances may have slipped, but they dug deep with goals from Conor Small and Conor McCann to cut the gap to a point with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The latter fired a free from midfielder under pressure in the second minute of injury-time to force extra-time.

Earlier, it was All-Ireland Minor winner with Waterford, Stephen Bennett who did the early damage, with the UL student bagging 1-4.

That handed Ballysaggart a 3-6 to 0-6 interval lead.

Like they did in the second half of normal time, Kickhams drove on and stole a march in the first period of extra-time.

Thomas McCann's side hugely controlled possession, and outscored their opponents by four points to a goal before the break.

Ballysaggart's goal firmly came against the grain after Kickhams goalkeeper Brendan Prenter fumbled, for Shane Bennett to net.

Kickhams were reduced to 14 men after a second yellow card for their midfielder Sam Maguire.

Creggan moved three points clear two minutes after the restart, and led by three following a Kevin Rice point, but a late goal from Shane Bennett forced a replay.

CREGGAN KICKHAMS: B Penter; D McCann, A Maguire, D Carey; B Maguire, T McCann, M Johnson; S Maguire, A McKeown; K Rice (0-4), O McCann (0-8, 4f, 1 65), R McCann (0-1); C Small (1-0), J Dougan, C McCann (1-6, 1-0pen, 1f). Subs: J Carey (0-1) for Dougan (27), M Nelson (0-1) for D McCann (36).

BALLYSAGGART: M Meagher; B Ryan, K Fennessy, D Devine (0-1); B Murphy, E O'Brien, C O'Gorman; C Murphy, K Bennett (0-1); Shane Bennett (3-0), D Meagher, K Cashell (0-1); R Walsh (1-2), Stephen Bennett (1-7, 4f), T Bennett. Subs: M Kearney for Walsh (34); S Hale for Kearney (66); S Meagher for T Bennett (70); C Fitzgerald for Devine (78).

Referee: Christy Browne (Galway).

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