Antrim SFC final: Cargin finally break Lamh Dhearg resistance to retain title

Lamh Dhearg's Ben Rice challenges Cargin's Tomas McCann at Corrigan Park
Tomas McCann notched Cargin's first goal in the third minute at Corrigan Park

A marathon Antrim Football Championship came to a fitting end as holders Cargin needed extra-time to beat unlucky Lamh Dhearg 3-16 to 0-23 in a thrilling final replay at Corrigan Park.

Tomas McCann's goal was the first score with Michael Magill notching another three-pointer before half-time as Cargin led 2-4 to 0-9 at the break.

Magill's second goal put Cargin four up but Lamh Dhearg forced extra-time.

Lamh Dhearg led in extra-time but Cargin finished the stronger to win.

The Hannahstown side led by five points midway through the second half in last weekend's final before a Michael McCann goal helped Cargin snatch a replay.

Lamh Dhearg needed three games to overcome Portglenone in the semi-finals with the second game halted in extraordinary circumstances during a penalty shootout by Antrim county chairman Ciaran McCavana.

Conor Murray ended up on the losing side in Saturday's decider despite hitting seven points from play while Lamh Dhearg free-taker Paddy Cunningham notched 0-8 from placed balls.

McCann's third-minute goal came after he intercepted an attempted short kickout but Lamh Dhearg fought back to level on four occasions in the opening period before Magill's first goal helped the Toome side lead 2-4 to 0-9 at the break.

Ciaran Bradley's pass set Magill's fisted second goal just after the resumption as Cargin looked set to close out the match in normal time.

Cargin still led by four as the game entered injury-time but the referee played eight additional minutes during which Lamh Dhearg hit four scores - including Cunningham's levelling free as the scoreline was 0-19 to 3-10.

An Eoin McKeown point helped Lamh Dhearg lead for the first time in the opening period of extra-time but the teams were again on terms at 3-12 to 0-21 as the first 10-minute period ended.

However, Cargin outscored the Hannahstown outfit 0-4 to 0-2 in the concluding 10 minutes to set up an Ulster Club Championship preliminary round meeting with Fermanagh champions Derrygonnelly on Sunday, 20 October.

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