Cargin may build the statue of the man who just wouldn't accept defeat against Naomh Conaill 3 weeks ago

Cargin may build the statue of the man who just wouldn't accept defeat against Naomh Conaill

Build that statue now.

Kevin McShane was Cargin's hero on Sunday, as the Antrim club recorded their first ever Ulster championship win.

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They looked dead and buried not once, but twice in their thrilling provincial quarter final against Naomh Conaill but their inspirational full back brought them back to life on both of those occasions.

He stepped up when it mattered most.

McShane left his first resuscitation act until very late in the day, six minutes into injury-time. Naomh Conaill were three points clear at that stage and on most days and against most teams, they would have been out the gap but Cargin had time for one last roll of the dice.

And luckily for them, it landed on that man Kevin McShane.

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It was all hands on deck by then - Cargin lobbed a last-gasp and last-chance free into the mixer and with about twenty men underneath it and looking up, McShane was the first up and he was the highest up to punch the ball into the net.

The celebrations were frantic on the field, they were frantic on the bench and they were frantic in the stand too, where their supporters rattled the galvanise at the excitement of it all.

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The show went on.

If they were biting their fingernails at that stage, they won't have had a nail to bite about half an hour later when, in a similar scenario, Naomh Conaill were again leading in injury-time, this time in extra-time. The gap was only one though and, with the final whistle beckoning, McShane made one last burst up the field.

Naomh Conaill had everyone back but they still couldn't stop him. Legs and minds were understandably weary then and so with one little shimmy, McShane found a yard for himself and then he took on what was always going to be the last chance of the day.

He sliced it straight over the bar and with that, we were heading for a penalty shoot-out.

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In the shoot-out, it was his team-mate John McNabb, the Antrim club footballer of the year who took on the mantle. He saved two Naomh Conaill penalties and then Cahir Donnelly stepped up to score the winner.

Cargin had many heroes on the day but Kevin McShane was undoubtedly the stand-out.

They're the players you want on your team, the players that come good when the pressure is at its highest and there's no doubt about it - Cargin full back revelled in the pressure in Corrigan Park.

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