Hodson Bay Roscommon SFC Round 4 (Group B) Elphin 2-11 Western Gaels 0-16
Two goals during the five-minute period after the interval from Fintan and Frankie Cregg capped Elphin’s finest display of the year as they overcame previously undefeated Western Gaels in the 4th round of the SFC last Sunday evening.
With the game delicately poised at the break when the Gaels led by a single point - 0-7 to 0-6 – the Cregg brothers struck in devastating fashion to catapult Elphin into a lead which they would never relinquish thereafter, despite a late rally from the Frenchpark outfit.
Following a number of disjointed displays from Elphin in earlier rounds, this was a welcome performance characterised by heart and determination, sprinkled with a touch of class and quality throughout, resurrecting their slim chances of progression to the quarter-finals.
The first half was an evenly contested affair with both sides swapping points. Elphin – spearheaded by John Collins and Frankie Cregg – and Western Gaels – with the Cregg brothers to the fore – cancelled each other out, but it was the Gaels who enjoyed a slender one-point margin at the interval.
But the game was turned on its head shortly after half-time when first, Elphin’s talisman Fintan Cregg supplied a composed finish after a mazy run and second, following good work from Aidan Murray, Frankie Cregg pounced for his side’s second goal– and decisive ones they proved at that.
Facing a five-point deficit at this stage, the Gaels did eat into Elphin’s lead but every time it looked as though they had reeled the Orchard Park club in, the home side responded positively.
However three quick-fire points from Tommy Gill, Finbar Cregg and Ciaran Cafferkey late on set-up a grandstand finish.
But Elphin held on for a deserved win, and although it was a bitter pill for the Gaels to swallow, they will know that victory in two weeks’ time will seal their qualification.
Meanwhile, Elphin need a sequence of unlikely results to join them, even if they account for St. Croan’s in the last round of the group stages.
Elphin: C Lenehan; N Lenehan, J Carney, S Beirne (0-1); L Mollohan, P O’Connor, M McCaffrey (0-1); D Hynes, S Killoran; G Cregg, J Collins (0-5), J Sweeney; Fintan Cregg (1-0), Frankie Cregg (1-4), A Murray. Subs used: E Tiernan, C Fox, M Glancy, C. Sweeney.
Western Gaels: P Cummins; S Conry, S McDermott, T Mahon; C Cafferkey (0-2), D McGarry, M Higgins; J Duffy (0-1), N Murray; K Higgins (0-2), N Higgins (0-3), D Ward (0-1); Finbar Cregg (0-3), J McDonnell (0-2), C Cregg. Subs used: D Moran (0-2), B Creighton, A Dowd.
Referee: B Healy