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Tomás McCann secured a draw for Cargin against Lámh Dhearg in the Antrim SFC Final with a late point.
Tomás McCann secured a draw for Cargin against Lámh Dhearg in the Antrim SFC Final with a late point.

Lámh Dhearg and Erin's Own deadlocked in Antrim SFC Final

Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship final

Lámh Dhearg 0-13 Erin's Own, Cargin 1-10

By David Mohan at Corrigan Park

A last-gasp pointed from from Tomás McCann saw defending champions Cargin earn a replay against Lámh Dhearg in this afternoon's Antrim Senior Football Championship final at a sunny Corrigan Park.

The former county star converted from distance three minutes into stoppage time to rescue a draw in a game that seemed to be getting away from them as 2017 winners, Lámh Dhearg dominated for long spells.

Perhaps it was the semi-final exertions that finally caught up with the Red Hands in the closing stages as it took them three games to reach today's decider, but they will feel this one perhaps got away from them as they produced an excellent performance, but just couldn't see it out.

Cargin were first on the board with Tomás McCann pointing a free in the second minute, but they wouldn't add to their tally for another 25 as Lámh Dhearg completely dominated around the middle.

The Hannahstown side used the wind to great effect as Paddy Cunningham landed a free from 65 meters out and Declan Dunne converted a 45 on 14 minutes to put them into the lead.

A quick break from Ben Rice saw him hit the game's first point from play before Cunningham tapped over another free.

Conor Murray was next on the board, thumping over an excellent score from range and Cunningham added another free to open a five-point gap.

Cargin were struggling, but the introduction of Gerard McCann saw them steady around the middle as suddenly they began to win primary possession.

Michael Magill was showing well and he played Tomás McCann in for a point and while Cunningham hit back with a free, Cargin had the final say of the half when a slick move instigated by another of their replacements, Enda McGrogan saw the ball played into Magill who had a shot at goal, but his effort was superbly saved up and over for a point by John Finucane to leave Lámh Dhearg holding a 0-7 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Cunningham and McCann traded frees after the break with Rice and Gerard McCann doing likewise from play as the Red Hands maintained the four point gap heading into the final quarter.

When they needed it most, James Laverty made an excellent interception for Cargin and he sent Paul McCann away on the counter who waited for a runner and found brother, MIchael McCann with a good pass and the former county star drilled his shot high into the net to leave it 0-9 to 1-5.

Lámh Dhearg hit back with points from Ben Rice and Eoin McKeown and while Paul McCann reduced the deficit to two with five to play, the city side could have sealed it with Marc Jordan put through, but his shot whistled over.

Points from Paul and Michael McCann left just one in it with the game ticking into stoppage time, but Paddy Cunningham looked to have steadied the Belfast outfit from a free.

Cargin would not throw the towel in and Tomás McCann saw a dipping shot whistle over the bar before holding his nerve with that long-range free three minutes into added time to secure a draw and keep their hopes of a fourth title in five years alive.

Scorers for Cargin: Tomás McCann 0-5 (3 frees), Michael McCann 1-1, Paul McCann 0-2, Gerard McCann 0-1, Michael Magill 0-1, 

Scorers for Lámh Dhearg: Paddy Cunningham 0-6 (all frees), Ben Rice 0-3, Conor Murray 0-1, Marc Jordan 0-1, Eoin McKeown 0-1, Declan Dunne 0-1 (45)

CARGIN: John McNabb; Donagh McKeever, Marty Kane, Kevin O'Boyle; Tony Scullion, Justin Crozier, James Laverty; David Johnston, John Carron; Paul McCann, Michael McCann, Ciaran Bradley; Tomás McCann, Michael Magill, Jamie Gribbin. Subs: Gerard McCann for John Carron (25), Enda McGrogan for Tony Scullion (26), Kevin McShane for David Johnston (42), Kieran Close for Enda McGrogan (54), Gerard McCorley for Marty Kane (59)

LÁMH DHEARG: John Finucane; Christopher Nolan, Padraig Mervyn, Marc McGarry; Declan Lynch, Michael Herron, Ben Rice; Declan Dunne, Kevin Quinn; Eoin McKeown, Conor Murray, Marc Jordan; Paddy Cunningham, Terry McCrudden, Ryan Murray. Subs: Conor McIlvenny for Christopher Nolan (45). Black cards: Terry McCrudden, 45, replaced by Ryan Diamond), Ryan Murray (60+2, replaced by Mark Finnegan), Michael Herron (60+3, not replaced)

Referee: Sean Laverty (Moneyglass)

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