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All Square in Dromintee

posted 9 Oct 2011, 11:19 by Sarsfields PRO

Dromintee 0-16 Sarsfields 2-10

Patrick Stevenson and Paul Magee returned to the half back line with Declan Breen and John Stevenson losing out. Paul McGaughey was pushed up to the half forward line.

Sarsfields looked sharp enough early on, but their play was hitting the corners rather than taking a more direct route. Dromintee countered and being more direct almost had a goal chance, the ball going out for a ’45. While Sarsfields wasted several chances Dromintee’s direct play got them the first point. Sarsfields replied almost immediately when a quick Richie Stevenson free set Mark Reynolds up for a point. Mark was being well tracked but he created the space for the tap over, showing no sign of any injury lingering from the Crossmaglen match. The defence was playing fairly well. Paul Magee put a great ball on top of Eamon McGeown, which he just failed to collect and Darren McAvoy caught a great ball under the crossbar. Sarsfields had been putting some good balls into the full forward line but weren’t getting much possession in the danger area. However one good attack quickly remedied that problem. Thomas McAlinden put a ball in front of Eamon McGeown and put him in on goal. Eamon smashed the ball into the corner beyond Phillip McEvoy, to put the Highmoss a goal up. Thomas McAlinden then intercepted the resultant kick out but Colin Stevenson sent the ball just wide. Thomas had a further chance himself, but saw that effort drop short.

Dromintee looking sharp going forward, sent a shot wide but quickly added a point. Richie Stevenson sent over a free and his brother Colin added a point after Eamon McGeown knocked the ball down. Both sides though were missing a few chances. Johnny Reynolds shot wide and Darren McAvoy collected a few shots dropping short. Dromintee added three points inside three minutes to narrow the gap to a single point and worryingly they could have been in for goal for one of those points. Both sides exchanged a brace of points in an exciting end to the half. Eamon McGeown caught a ball on the end line and scored from a very narrow angle and Paul McGaughey added a great score on the run, after collecting a pass from Mark Reynolds. The final point of the half was controversial in that it was awarded to Dromintee, though the Sarsfields crowd and umpire believed it had gone wide. Of course the home umpire and support believed the opposite and in fairness to the referee he was ‘between a rock and a hard place’ and any decision he would make would be wrong.

If the match was tight in the first half, that wasn’t the case early in the second half. The home side equalised straight from the throw in. Paul Hughes made a great catch from the kick out and drove the ball in, but the Highmoss forward line was not winning enough ball and that chance was easily cleared. Dromintee quickly edged ahead, but a Colin Stevenson free levelled matters once again. The free came after a high tackle on Colin Stevenson and resulted in a second yellow and dismissal for the Dromintee defender. The home side may have been reduced to fourteen men but it didn’t show. The South Armagh side scored three points without reply to go three up and really they looked in complete control. Eamon McGeown pulled back a point, but Dromintee added a couple of scores to go four up. Sarsfields persevered and pulled two points back. First Richie sent over a free, and then Thomas McAlinden scored a great point after a powerful run up the sideline from the halfway line, before cutting into the middle to take the score. The deficit was now two points and certainly this provided some inspiration to the Highmoss. Dromintee edged three ahead but a Richie Stevenson free pulled it back to two points and kept up the hope that something could be got from the match. Paul Hughes sent an effort wide after a great run, though he was having a good performance in midfield. The breakthrough for Sarsfields came when they were awarded a penalty after Richie Stevenson was fouled in the square. It came after great kick out found Thomas McAlinden on the run and combining with Paul McGaughey, quick ball was fed to Richie in the danger zone. Johnny Reynolds put the penalty away and from two down the Highmoss were a point ahead with two minutes remaining. Dromintee kept the pressure on and had two chances from frees. They missed the first but scored the second, two minutes into injury time with the last kick of the ball. From a Sarsfields perspective the ball should not have been there, they had back passed a free to hold possession but found themselves pressurised and gave away the ball.

A point away to Dromintee on the face of it is a good result, but is also disappointing when the lead is lost deep in injury time. On a positive note there were some good performances in defence and midfield. The forwards demonstrated what they can do when they have the ball. Unfortunately they just weren’t winning enough ball.