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Sarsfields Edged Out in Championship

posted 15 Aug 2011, 14:25 by Sarsfields PRO
Sarsfields 1-09 Maghery 0-13
Mark Reynolds
scored a superb goal

Sarsfields fielded generally the same team that had lost last time out in the league. However in a rearranged defence Brian Kerr lost out to Kieran McAlinden. Maghery got off to the better start and had landed two decent points before Richie sent over a ‘45’ for the Highmoss after a good effort from Paul McGaughey was deflected wide. Dominating at midfield and having the better of the Highmoss defence Maghery tagged on a couple more points. Sarsfields old failing of giving away possession had also contributed to a couple of the Maghery scores. Richie tagged on his second point from a free after a Maghery ‘throw ball’ in their full back line. This came after a forty meter free from him dropped inches short to the keeper. Maghery pushed ahead adding another three points and they could have been further ahead but had sent a couple wide. That said Richie had pulled a shot wide, and really the free would have better suited a left footed player. Thomas McAlinden on the end of a great move had a chance to level matters but saw his effort come off the underside of the bar and out. Maghery increased their lead and could have been further ahead but for poor shooting. In a rare occasion where the Highmoss won possession around the centre, Neil McCann saw an effort go wide but the Maghery keeper conceded the ‘45’ Richie Stevenson punished the error. Despite having minimum possession Sarsfields were only three points down. Yet again Maghery pushed further ahead and led by six points as the second half came to a close. Sarsfields grabbed the last two scores in injury time to close the gap to four points. Richie got the first point but it was superb tackling that saw Mark Reynolds rob a Maghery defender and put a ball in from the corner. A flick from Neil McCann found Richie in space and had he got clean possession he was in on goal. The final point of the half was fisted over by Eamon McGeown and again it was good work in regaining possession in the danger area. More to the point these late scores were the first from play and were keeping the Highmoss in the game.

For the second half Johnny Reynolds came on for Michael Stevenson. Maghery added a point early in the second half to lead by ten points to five. The Maghery scorer and gone in unchallenged for a handy score. Worryingly this had come after Maghery had sent three early chances wide. Teams usually have a period of dominance and for Sarsfields this was to be the next fifteen to twenty minutes. Richie Stevenson started the comeback with a free. Eamon McGeown then got a fist to a long free sent in by Thomas McAlinden to pull the gap back to three. Mark Reynolds levelled matters with a super goal low and hard into the corner of the net, after great work up the middle by Paul McGaughey. Paul McGeown who had come on for Neill McCann had a free from forty five meters go wide. However Sarsfields were playing better in all sectors of the field. A super block from Kieran McAlinden denied Maghery the chance of a score and Sarsfields hit the lead through Paul Magee. The Highmoss were on top at midfield and with five minutes remaining Richie Stevenson increased the lead to two points after Paul McGeown was fouled. Maghery should have pulled a point back after Sarsfields were penalised for a ‘throw ball’ but the handy free only added to Maghery’s growing tally of wides. After a further Maghery wide it seemed like Sarsfields may well hold on to the lead, particularly as they were winning the midfield battle and the defence was playing better. Maghery got the next score and this seemed to give them some inspiration. In injury time they levelled matters from a free and from a Highmoss perspective it was a silly free to concede. In the second minute of injury time Maghery regained the lead. Sarsfields fought back and Richie Stevenson had a chance to possibly level matters from a forty meter free that just went wide. It was a super comeback by Sarsfields but Maghery had shown character to snatch the win. Sarsfields in their first senior championship match in recent years might have gone out at the first hurdle. They had however also shown great character and made the statement that the senior championship is where they should rightfully be playing.