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Good Win for Highmoss

posted 7 Jul 2011, 07:21 by Sarsfields PRO

Sarsfields 4-05 St. Patrick's 0-12

Richie Stevenson was unavailable and Neil McCann came in on the full forward line. Neil has come in, both in the forward line and also between the posts and has performed well in both positions and in particular he had an excellent game in Crossmaglen.

Sarsfields began against the breeze and their first effort was sent wide. Whilst it was a good evening for football it did prove to be the case that the breeze made it tricky for both sets of forwards. Cullyhanna responded and the Highmoss defence worked well to push the visitor’s out and force a shot that dropped short to Darren McAvoy, though it was a tricky high ball coming to the keeper. Early on the visitors were finding themselves with the majority of the possession and it began to be reflected on the scoreboard. With ten minutes gone the visitors had gone three up, while Sarsfields had sent two good chances wide. This trend continued in the next period with Highmoss chances going wide of the mark and the visitor’s chances being scored. With twenty minutes gone St. Patrick’s were six points clear and Sarsfields had put four shots wide and another couple straight to the goalie. That said the Hoops did have three goal chances, one in particular that seemed difficult to miss but the ball went wide and another that was saved at the expense of a ‘45’. Cullyhanna added a point to go seven clear. To be fair it was a goal chance and things were looking bleak from a Highmoss perspective. The spirits were raised in the final few minutes of the half when Sarsfields hit two quick goals to claw their way back into the game. The first was an excellent effort looping into the top corner from Paul Hughes and it could have been said the goal was coming. The second was from Paul McGaughey who capitalised on a defensive error and poked the ball into the corner of the net. Sarsfields sent a further two chances wide and another into the goalies hands, before Cullyhanna added a point to finish the half a point up. It could be argued that Sarsfields had missed three goal chances; they certainly had seven wides and dropped three shots into the keeper’s hands. There was some hope for the second half though as it was felt that there would be further goal chances and the points might well come easier with the assistance of the breeze.

Sarsfields got the best possible start to the second half when a Kieran McAlinden fist sent a ball in from Paul McGaughey crashing to the net. This put the Highmoss into the lead for the first time in the match with the unusual score line of 3-00 to 0-08. Neil McCann quickly added a point and a super point from Paul Hughes gave Sarsfields a three point advantage. The visitors replied with three points without reply to level matters though it had taken a free after almost fifteen minutes to get them going, thanks mainly to good work in the Highmoss defence. During this period Thomas McAlinden had a chance to extend the Hoop’s lead, but saw his shot for goal well blocked by a St. Pat’s defender. Sarsfields had gone over ten minutes without scoring and undoubtedly the optimism was not as high in the Sarsfields camp. Again a few missed shots were to blame. Thomas McAlinden edged the Hoops ahead with a free, but the result was decided in the last five minutes.

Darren McAvoy denied the visitors what seemed like a certain goal when he made a spectacular save pushing the ball over the bar. Had the goal been scored a Cullyhanna win would have been the most likely outcome. With the sides level Sarsfield showed great character. Brian Lavery made a simply superb catch in midfield and set Paul Hughes up for a fantastic point. A moment later Paul Hughes made a great attacking run up the sideline but was you might say ‘taken out’ over the sideline. His response was to put the sideline ball straight between the posts with another terrific shot. Undoubtedly this gave the Highmoss a great boost and had the opposite effect on the visitors. Now in injury time Sarsfields held possession with good passing football and Cullyhanna just couldn’t get their hands on the ball. The possession almost broke down on the fourteen yard line but Kieran McAlinden rescued the situation and got the ball to Eimeid Murray on the edge of the square. Eimeid rounded his man and blasted the ball to the net to guarantee the victory and a vital two points for the Highmoss.