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Poor Display from the Highmoss

posted 24 May 2011, 00:23 by Unknown user

Sarsfields 1-05 Cullaville 1-11

This match against Cullaville was you might say a must win game for Sarsfields. Even at this early stage of the league it could have been considered to be a relegation battle. Unfortunately for the Highmoss Ciaran Kerr, Patrick Stevenson, and Richie Stevenson were now added to the growing injury list alongside Mark Reynolds, Colin Stevenson and Eimeid Murray. The experienced Kieran McAlinden and Aidan Haughian came into the team along with Chris McGaughey who had just come home from the States.

Playing against a stiff breeze Sarsfields got off to the best possible start with a fourth minute Thomas McAlinden goal. The goal came after excellent work in midfield from Brian Lavery who got possession, supplied Paul McGaughey, collected a pass from Paul and set Thomas up for the goal. Both sets of supporters thoughts drifted back to the championship final in which Thomas McAlinden had scored an early goal and on that day had set Sarsfields up for victory. Sarsfields were missing six players from that championship winning team and it showed.

This goal was as good as it got for the Highmoss. By the twentieth minute Cullaville had scored four points without reply to edge ahead. Sarsfields quickly levelled matters with a Chris McGaughey free. Moments later a Cullaville player got a straight red for striking and you might reasonably have thought Sarsfields should take advantage. Cullaville though scored the next two points to lead by two as half time loomed. It was then that we had what was possibly the turning point of the game. In a great move a Sarsfields player was hauled down in the square for a penalty. Johnny Reynolds who can generally be relied on to put penalties away was denied by the keeper, though it could be said that the penalty wasn’t one of his better efforts. To rub salt into the wound the visitors went straight up the field to score an injury time point and go in with a three point lead.

In the second half both sides put over early frees and Sarsfields were reduced to fourteen men after Eoin Murray received his second yellow. If the penalty miss wasn’t a turning point the next move from Cullaville certainly was. Peter Stevenson agonisingly saw a ball go behind him after clipping his fingertips and there to take advantage was Kieran Hatzer who sent the ball to the Highmoss net. Sarsfields forward line just wasn’t at the game. Several shots went wide and other moves just broke down. A goal and two points in forty-five minutes tells its own story, and it wasn’t that the forward line was starved of possession. Paul Hughes stopped the rot with a 16th minute point, but the deficit was six points and it didn’t look like the Sarsfields forward line could pull it back. Chris McGaughey and substitute Niall McAlinden added points but two Cullaville points ensured the six point victory. Sarsfields just didn't have the same hunger as Cullaville and simply it was their worst display of the season.