ANTRIM side Creggan Kickhams captured the All-Ireland junior club title with a display of commitment and fervour that many sides would relish against an opponent who would not lie down in a windswept and sunny Cusack Park, Mullingar, yesterday.
Trailing by two at the half-time interval after conceding a poor goal to their Waterford opponents on seven minutes and dominating play throughout, the Antrim men restarted in whirlwind fashion with a goal on 38 minutes, the least they deserved for their renewed vigour, and once Oran McCann put them in the lead from a free, they never looked back as they held the Déise side at bay.
After suffering at the hands of Ballysaggart's danger man, Shane Bennett, in Croke Park last week, they stifled his influence to just three points yesterday. Conor Small and Conor McCann were in superb form at the other end. The only downside was the dismissal of Martin Johnson late on with a harsh straight red.
Ballysaggart failed in their attempt to become the first Waterford club champions and will rue last week's missed opportunity.
Scorers – Creggan Kickhams: C Small 1-3, C McCann (2f), O McCann 0-3 (2f) each, S Maguire, M Johnson 0-1 each. Ballysaggart: Stephen Bennett 1-1 (f), Shane Bennett 0-3 (2f) Kieran Bennett, D Meagher, C Kearney 0-1 each.
Creggan Kickhams: B Prenter; B Maguire, A Maguire, D Carey; F McCauley, T McCann, M Johnson; R McCann, A McKeown; K Rice, O McCann, J Carey; C Small, S Maguire, C McCann. Subs: M Nelson for S Maguire (46), D McCann for McCauley (52).
Ballysaggart: M Meagher; B Ryan, K Fennessy, D Devine; B Murphy, E O'Brien, C O'Gorman; C Murphy, K Bennett; S Bennett, D Meagher, K Cashell; R Walsh, S Bennett, T Bennett. Subs: C Kearney for Walsh (15), S Hale for T Bennett (h-t)
Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).
Sunday Indo Sport