Saturday 24 March 2018

McGourty fires Galls to glory

All-Ireland club champions St Galls safely navigated the first stage on the way to defending their title when they lifted their ninth Antrim championship in 10 years at Casement Park on Saturday night.

Two second-half CJ McGourty goals eased St Galls to victory after a tight opening half, and in the end the Belfast side were full value for their nine-point win.

A nip-and-tuck first half had the sides level five times.

Cargin notched five first-half points from five different scorers, with Ciaran Close kicking the opener. Anthony Healy levelled after five minutes.

The scores were level at 0-3 apiece when James Laverty lofted over the point of the half and when Gerard O'Boyle landed a long-range free, Cargin again led by the minimum.

St Galls were having little success with the high ball into the forward line, but in the latter half of the opening period they got their short passing game going to produce three unanswered scores.

McGourty converted a free after a foul on Kevin Niblock, with Terry O'Neill and Healy both scoring after periods of St Galls possession to give the Belfast side a 0-7 to 0-5 lead at the break.

The opening score of the second half fell to McGourty who rounded Cargin 'keeper Kevin McNally to stroke home.

On 43 minutes he found the back of the net again to put St Galls 2-13 to 0-8 to the good.

Kevin O'Boyle and Mark Kelly added consolation scores for Cargin but it is St Galls who will again fly the Antrim flag in the Ulster club series.

Scorers -- St Galls: CJ McGourty 2-5 (0-4f), M Pollock 0-3 (0-2f), A Healy 0-2, T O'Neill, K Niblock (0-1 '45'), Kevin McGourty 0-1 each. Cargin: G O'Boyle 0-3 (0-1f), C Close 0-2 (0-2f), K O'Boyle, J Laverty, P McCann, T McCann (0-1f), M Kelly 0-1 each

St Galls -- Ronan Gallagher; P Veronica, C Brady, B Martin; T O'Neill, S Kelly, A Healy; S Burke, A Gallagher; M Pollock, Rory Gallagher, K Stewart; K Niblock, CJ McGourty, Kieran McGourty Subs: Kevin McGourty for S Burke, A Hannaway for A Healy, C Kerr or Ronan Gallagher, C Gallagher for K Stewart, S Burns for M Pollock

Cargin -- K McNally; B McCann, G McCann, K O'Boyle; J Crozier, T Scullion, D Craig; J Carron, M McCann; J Laverty, P McCann, C Close; G O'Boyle, T McCann, F Johnston Subs: S McCloskey for J Carron, E McGrogan for C Close, M Kelly for F Johnston, D Johnston for P McCann

Ref -- G Walsh (Aghagallon)

Irish Independent

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