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Narrow defeat for Sarsfields

posted 9 May 2011, 14:18 by Sarsfields PRO

Sarsfields 1-15 Ballymacnab 2-13

The Highmoss fielded an unchanged team for this match. From a neutral point of view this was an exciting and entertaining match, however from a Sarsfields perspective it was another disappointing defeat.

Sarsfields early on were able to give decent ball in to the forward line but failed to make it count on the scoreboard. One the first of these occasions the forwards gave the ball away, and the next Sarsfields player to touch the ball was the keeper picking it out of the Highmoss net. Richie Stevenson got Sarsfields off the mark with a free, but Ballymacnab sent over a point again after been gifted the ball through poor Sarsfields passing. Inside the ten minute mark Sarsfields had pulled level through what can only be described as a very fortunate goal. Eamon McGeown can claim the credit for the final flick, but in reality the keeper who had it covered looked as if he had carried the ball behind the line. A Richie Stevenson free, followed by a fisted point edged Sarsfields two ahead. The fisted score came after he collected a decent effort from Eoin Murray that just dropped short. Ballymacnab quickly replied and it was quite clear that the Highmoss full back line would have their work cut out to hold the visitors’ forwards. Paul Hughes though showed good skill in selling the dummy to his man to restore the two point cushion with a well taken point. Sarsfields should have increased the lead but a couple of chances edged wide. Ballymacnab took advantage and edged ahead going into the final five minutes of the half. The visitors’ forward line was capable of winning its own ball whereas Sarsfields in going forward seemed determined to give the ball away. Peter Stevenson and Paul McGaughey combined for the best move of the game, which Paul sent over the bar. Paul caught the following kick out and drove in for another chance which dropped short when he could have carried the ball in further. A third free from Richie levelled matters yet again and Johnny Reynolds had time to put the Highmoss a point up as half time loomed, though it has to be said he had an excellent goal chance at his mercy. However the visitors replied before the whistle to level the game once more.

Sarsfields had a great start to the second half with three points in as many minutes. Richie had two frees and Eamon McGeown with a score from play. Also in the opening minutes of the half Thomas McAlinden had a great opportunity but slipped just as he got possession in behind the Ballymacnab defence. Ballymacnab replied and Darren McAvoy made good work to push a shot over the bar. Both sides missed chances with good Sarsfields work coming to nothing on the scoreboard. The visitors narrowed the gap to a point before Richie converted his sixth free. The visitors pulled level mid-way through the half and both sides exchanged points taking turns at leading the game. Yet again it was Sarsfields mistakes that were leading to scores against them. The deciding factor was a Ballymacnab goal five minutes from time. The visitors missed a couple of chances to extend the lead before Sarsfields came back with a free from Richie and a fisted point from Eamon McGeown. Sarsfields had chances to level matters and even push ahead, but shots from Thomas McAlinden and Eamon McGeown went agonisingly wide.

In some respects it wasn’t Sarsfields’ worst performance with the midfield playing fairly well and they had put up a good score. On closer inspection, that good score included eight frees and a soft enough goal, and it could easily be argued that Ballymacnab were the better team, particularly in the forward line. The main problem was that Sarsfields just gave too much ball away with poor passing. And yet they could have got a result from the match.