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Derrygonnelly hold off Cargin challenge

Cargin 0-12 Derrygonnelly 2-10

By David Mohan

Two first-half goals proved to be the decisive scores as Derrygonnelly claimed victory over Cargin at a sunny Corrigan Park yesterday.

The Fermanagh champions found the net through Conall Jones and Garvan McGovern to build a six-point lead at the break and with wind advantage in the second period, they were able to manage the game to great effect and secure a quarter-final meeting with Trillick in two weeks' time.

This was a game that never quite sparked to life as Cargin just couldn't build a head of steam in attack with Derrygonnelly's tactic of pulling 13 - and on several occasions 14 - men behind the ball leaving the Antrim champions with little space to operate.

With the stiff breeze at their backs in the opening period, Cargin would have been hoping to build a good lead but that wasn't to be the case despite Kieran Close getting them off the mark with a free in the opening minute, but this game quickly became an attritional battle.

Derrygonnelly finally got off the mark in the eighth minute as they hit their first goal as Conall Jones' shot for a point dipped and dropped into the net with Cargin goalkeeper John McNabb perhaps losing the flight of the ball in the sun.

Shane McGullion followed up immediately with a point, but Cargin began to work their way back with Close pointing twice.

However, they were to be hit with a sucker-punch straight after on 15 minutes as Stephen McGullion galloped in on the right and while his low shot was stopped on the line, Gavin McGovern was to profit as he tapped in from close range.

Points from Garvan McGinley and Garvan Jones made it a six-point game and while Jamie Gribbin turned and split the posts at the other end, Derrygonnelly were to have the final say of the half with McGovern firing over when perhaps a goal was on to leave his side 2-4 to 0-4 ahead at the break.

That six-point gap remained midway through the second period with both sides hitting three points apiece with Lee Jones' excellent point on the run for Derrygonnelly on 41 minutes the only from play.

Tomas McCann reduced the deficit to five from another Cargin free before they hit their first from play in the second period when Paul McCann finished off a patient build-up.

The Fermanagh men responded with Garvan Jones firing over from distance as they began to pack their defence and gave Cargin little room to try and engineer the goal their challenge needed.

Kevin McShane did split the posts for the hosts, but again Jones replied to bring the gap back to five.

Cargin's misery was compounded when Donagh McKeever was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time and while they almost did find the net when Kevin McShane got in at the back post to meet Paul McCann's fist-pass, but he scooped his effort over the bar.

This would have been a mere consolation had it gone in as the final whistle sounded immediately after to confirm Derrygonnelly's passage into the quarter-final.

CARGIN: J McNabb; D McKeever, J Laverty; T Scullion, J Crozier; K O'Boyle; P Shivers, J Carron; P McCann (0-1), K Close (0-5, 3 frees), C Bradley; T McCann (0-3, all frees), M Magill, J Gribbin (0-1). Subs: K McShane (0-2) for P Shivers (HT), M Clarke for M Magill (38), M McCann for T Scullion (44), P Shivers for K Close (57).

DERRYGONNELLY: J Kelly; J Love, T Daly, E McHugh; Shane McGullion (0-1), M Jones, G McGinley (0-1); R Jones, Stephen McGullion; G McGovern (1-1), K Cassidy, D Cassidy; L Jones (0-1), C Jones (1-1, 0-1 free), G Jones (0-4, 2 frees). Subs: G McKenna for G McGovern (44), N Gallagher (0-1) for K Cassidy (55), R McHugh for D Cassidy (60+1).

Referee: Paul Falloon (Down).

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