Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship, Group One
St Gall's 2-2 Creggan 1-9
Sunday afternoon saw St Gall's welcome Creggan in a fixture as old as time and the game started just as it would play out.
Physicality and brute force were the flavour of the action with six yellow cards and one red card being brandished from referee Cathal McDermott.
St Gall's were the first to strike a blow.
Goalkeeper Niall McCurdy’s kickout was met with a commanding catch from midfielder Michael Pollock.
Pollock launched a ball into the forward line, Niall Fallon sped onto the pass and outmuscled the fullback before smashing home an effort inside the 13-yard line.
Tiarnan McAteer replied with a point from range to notch Creggan’s first score of the day.
With a crowd watching today, it was a tight affair for Rd 2 of the SFC with only a point in it for most of the game. That point lead belonged to St Galls, who led for most of the game, but losing a player to two yellows and a few wides cost us, Creggan taking the win by 4 points pic.twitter.com/vwEQy5shQN— Naomh Gall (@naomhgall) August 14, 2022
Creggan captain Kevin Small linked up well with the forward line before powering home into the top-left corner putting the away-side in front at 1-0 to 1-1 as the water-break was called.
Ruairi McCann scored his first point as he punted the first free of the day from 30 yards out.
McAteer followed suit after a battle with the St Galls defence helped him create enough space to shoot and put Creggan ahead by three points with five minutes before the half.
St Gall's goalscorer Fallon scored a lovely point as he dropped the shoulder and beat centre-half Killian Burke.
Half-forward Colm Walsh received a wonderful ball from Eoghan McCabe into the left wing.
The forward proceeded to burst forward and link up with Fallon and fizzed a pass across the square as the ball ricocheted of the Creggan defender and into the goal.
The home side led the game 2-1 to 1-3 as the referee blew the whistle for the break in play.
Ruairi McCann levelled the game for Creggan in the early minutes of the second half.
Niall Burns stepped up minutes later with a lengthy free to restore St Gall's lead.
Referee Cathal McDermott was the busiest man of the afternoon.
Niall Fallon saw his name on the bad side for once after caught his marker with a hook around the neck.
McCabe then proceeded to be cautioned after the half-forward won the ball and was deemed a questionable foul.
Conal McGirr and McCabe then linked up as the pair opened the Creggan backline up.
The St Gall's defender was brought down inside the 13 and sliced his shot on goal.
However, the referee chose not to award what seemed to be a blatant penalty for the Belfast side.
A series of Ruairi McCann frees, flipped the game in Creggan’s favour.
Late St Gall’s momentum was halted as full-back Tomas Bunting dragged down Liam Quinn in the middle of the park.
Bunting was shown a second yellow, leavingSt Gall's down to 14 with five minutes to play.
Forward Sean Duffin and late points from Jamie McCann sealed the game for the away side.
A strong and fierce contest in which the favourites struggled, but eventually pulled through to victory.
ST GALL'S: N McCurdy, E McCurdy, D Wilson, C Flannery, C Bradley, T Bunting(2 yels), C McGirr, M Pollock, R Irvine, R Wilson, N O’Neill, E McCabe, C Walsh 1-0, N Burns (0-1 frees), Niall Fallon 1-1
Subs: L McCormick, M Hopkins, C Murray, G Adams, F Donnelly, K Bradley, O McIlhatton, A Mullan, J McCaffrey, B Bradley, B McCaffrey, J Hopkins, M Donnelly, CJ Maguire
CREGGAN: O Kerr, E C Small, E McAteer, K Burke, A Maguire, M Johnston, J McCann 0-2, K Small 1-0, K McCann, F Burke, R McCann 0-4 (2 Frees), T McAteer 0-2, L Quinn, D McAteer, O McLarnon.
Subs: P Graham, R Johnston, S Maguire, T McCann, C McCann, D McCann, S Duffin 0-1, J McAteer, A McKeown, O McCann, J McAteer, P Coey, K Rice
REFEREE: Cathal McDermott (Tír na nÓg)