Antrim SFC champs Cargin are through to the Ulster Club Senior Championship Semi Finals after a dramatic win over Donegal Champions Naomh Conaill.
The Antrim Club won on penalties after multiple comebacks throughout the match.
The Donegal champions had the better start to the match. With the wind behind them, the Glenties based side led 0-06 to 0-03.
However, points from Jamie Gribbin, Tomás McCann and Pat Shivers who was instrumental in their county title success, brought the teams level in the second half.
Naomh Conaill then reestablished their lead with a quick goal coming from their kickout. Despite the setback, Cargin stayed in touch with their opponents, having a 3 point deficit coming into the last minute of injury time.
Faced with another short provincial campaign, Cargin went for goal from a 45 in the last minute. Kevin McShane got a fist to it to force extra time. Their goal would later be commended online for its smart game management for that final play.
Really smart game management from Cargin on the goal,
Kick the 45 in & far more chance of square ball as players can't be in b4 ball, ref far more likely to blow it,
Go short & once it's kicked in, they can go into square https://t.co/VfL7TB12Ah
— Karl O'Kane (@KarlOKane) November 13, 2022
Both sides exchanged points in extra time with the Donegal champions' goal being instantly replied by Cargin with a goal of their own. Martin Regan's side thought they won it when Jack McKelvey fisted a point over in the last minute. However, McShane made it a habit of equalising in the last minute, kicking a spectacular point to force penalties.
Cargin's goalkeeper John McNabb proved to be the hero as he saved two out of Naomh Conail's first three penalties. This allowed Cahir Donnelly to send Cargin to the semis with a successful spot kick and he duly delivered.
📺WATCH: Dramatic afternoon at Corrigan Park!@Cargin_Gac came back from the brink of defeat in the dying seconds of both normal and extra time before emerging winners on penalties vs @NaomhConaillGAA!#ClubMeansMore pic.twitter.com/i27RZMIBad
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) November 13, 2022
Practise Makes Perfect
Speaking to The Irish News, McNabb revealed that they had been practising penalties and extra time since the quarter final stage of the county championship.
I fancied it all day. From the quarter final stage we have been practising penalties quite a lot and doing the hard yards, in case we'd need extra time.
If you practise enough penalties and save enough penalties in training, you get a feeling for it. If you look back on our penalties, you won't see better at the World Cup coming up!
First Victory In A Decade For Antrim
Cargin's victory is an Antrim club's first victory in Ulster in a decade. They will be hoping to better Antrim's horrible record in the competition and go all the way this year. 2003 was the last time a club from the Saffron County won the competition. They face Derry champions Glen next, who edged a terrific battle with Errigal Ciaran.