Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC Final Replay
Lámh Dhearg v Clann na hÉireann an Carragán
Corrigan Park, Naomh Eoin
There were Hannahstown hearts in mouths last Sunday as Michael Herron received his black card. Many expected a Cargin free to follow but the only whistle that sounded was the one that ended the game and will bring everyone back to the Whiterock Road this evening.
Such is the feverish interest in this game that Antrim GAA will host live video coverage of the match on their Facebook page and another thriller could well be in store.
Michael McCann's goal sparked a comeback for the reigning champions last Sunday after a tactically astute Lámh Dhearg had worked themselves into a commanding position. The late intervention of Michael, Paul and ultimately Tomás McCann salvaged a draw and earned them at least another week as champions.
The Hannahstown side executed their pressing game to perfection in the first period and limited the champions to just 0-03 and Lámh Dhearg won almost every kick out John McNabb attempted. Their midfield dominance was staggering.
Cargin did regroup McCann's goal gave them the impetus to get back into the game and earn the draw, but manager Damian Cassidy will no doubt be disappointed at the lack of control they exerted on the occasion.
The prodigious Pat Shivers may well start this afternoon's game, having taken no part in last week's following his efforts in helping Cargin secure the Minor title in the curtain-raiser. Shivers may give the Erin's Own forward line greater mobility and cause more problems for the relatively untroubled Paddy Mervyn.
Ben Rice's industry around the break resulted in 0-03 for the Man of the Match and Cargin will need to find a way to combat that intensity this time around. Lámh Dhearg did everything bar get the win the last day out, but the obvious train of thought is that Cargin have more room for improvement on last Sunday's performance.
Another 60 minutes for both Conor Murray and Kevin O'Boyle will have given their confidence a boost, the former hitting a huge first-half score the last day out. Conor's brother Ryan had a quiet game by his own standards and will be keen to sparkle in the replay.
Erin's Own will need to find their way around Lámh Dhearg's well-drilled pressing game and may well need another tour-de-force from Michael McCann to retain their grip on the Pádraig McNamee Cup.
Verdict: Lámh Dhearg