By Shaun Casey
CREGGAN had to dig deep and battle bravely to get past Bredagh and secure their spot in the semi-final and now that they’re here, they’ll want to make the most of it.
Six points up as they teams changed sides, Creggan looked to be cruising into the final four, but the Down champions came right back at them and really questioned their bottle. Questions that Creggan eventually answered to win 2-21 to 3-17.
The concession of goals, two after the break, will raise some concerns for Stephen Fawl’s side, who kept two clean sheets in the knockout stages of the Antrim Championship to claim the Intermediate title after previous attempts in 2018 and 2021.
And they’ll need their defence to be on top of their game this weekend when they come up against a Carrickmore side that raised two green flags in their victory over Lisbellaw.
Rattling the net at the other end of the pitch has been no problem for Creggan having nailed six majors in their last three championship outings. The return of Antrim hurler Conor McCann has really bolstered their attacking options.
McCann spent a year on the sidelines after suffering the dreaded ACL injury but has been a major boost since returning to the club side.
McCann chipped in with 1-6 from full forward the last day out and has the potential to cause serious problems for Carrickmore.
But he’s not the only deadly weapon that Creggan have at the top end of the field. The likes of Oran McCann, Morgan Nelson, Kevin Rice and Thomas McCann are all well fit to chip in with scores.
Captain Ruairi McCann, Player of the Match in their 1-16 to 0-14 county final victory over Pádraig Sáirseil, is a real all-rounder and covers every blade of grass on the field.
While Creggan have waited a long time to compete in the Ulster series, a number of their players represented the club’s football team when they won the Antrim Senior Championship back in 2021.
There are also a number that have represented the Saffron County at the highest level, at both hurling and football, so that experience could be vital in Owenbeg this Sunday afternoon.
If they can keep the goals out and ensure their ability to raise green flags continues, then Creggan have a great chance of reaching the Ulster final, but like the last day out, they’re really going to have to earn it.