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Victory in final home match

posted 13 Sep 2011, 13:58 by Sarsfields PRO

Sarsfields 4-10 Carrickcruppen 2-06

With Carrickcruppen relegated and Sarsfields safe, it could be said that the match had lost some of its importance. However the management were able to use several players who had not been regulars in the starting line up through the season. Conor Creaney, Niall McAlinden Stefan Green and Paul McGeown started in this match, Declan Breen was brought on and a few established players stayed on the bench.

Sarsfields began what seemed to be against the breeze, though it is fair to say that the wind didn’t give much advantage to either team. Cruppen had a few forays forward in the early stages but Sarsfields hit the first point through Colin Stevenson in their first move up the field. Niall McAlinden followed this with a point after an unselfish pass from Colin Stevenson. Seconds before he had sent a chance wide possibly due to the swirling wind, but he easily accounted for the conditions with his next effort. Both sides missed chances over the next period and really it was poor shooting combined with tricky conditions. Paul McGaughey stopped the rot with a well taken goal. Cruppen scored their first point after fifteen minutes and unusually it was given wide by the Cruppen umpire, whilst the score was given by the Highmoss umpire. Cruppen were denied a goal by a great save by Darren McAvoy after a ball dropped in behind the Highmoss defence. In their next attack they were denied another goal, but a ball flicked over the Highmoss keeper was swept up on the line by John Stevenson. In a frantic period Cruppen saw a third goal chance go astray. Initially Brian Kerr got the block on a goal bound shot but the rebound went straight to a forward whose shot was deflected on its way to the net by another Cruppen man. To compound the visitors woes, the handiest of frees was sent wide by a shot that was just too casual. Sarsfields finished the half strongly. Paul McGaughey added two points and Paul McGeown had a good goal chance saved by the Cruppen keeper. Cruppen added a point and had the ball in the Highmoss net, but the goal was disallowed because of an illegal hand pass. If this was typical of Carrickcruppen’s bad luck or misfortune throughout the year, then it would have been impossible for them to avoid the drop.

Sarsfields had the better start to the second half and two points from Paul McGeown free and points from Niall McAlinden and Brian Lavery saw the Highmoss lead by nine points. Cruppen pulled a goal back, their tactic of dropping in the long ball paying off on this occasion. A quick point closed the gap to five points. Points were exchanged with Paul McGeown and Niall McAlinden scoring for the Hoops. Niall then picked out Paul McGaughey with a great pass and his rasping shot for goal came of the post with such force, that it went out for a sideline ball. Cruppen pulled a point back on twenty minutes. Such was this match that the final ten minutes would only see one more point. However there were to be four goals. The first goal was a superb effort from Paul Magee after a great run through the middle. This was followed by a well deserved goal from Niall McAlinden, after a great move involving Paul Magee and Michael Stevenson who set Niall up with a perfect pass and he slid the ball under the keeper to the net. This saw Sarsfields lead by eleven points. To their credit the visitors pulled a goal and a point back and forced another good save from Darren McAvoy. Sarsfields grabbed an injury time goal in a moved started by Conor Creaney, set up by Paul McGeown and finished by Paul McGaughey.

On a positive note this was an entertaining enough game and the players that came in, can be very satisfied with their performances. To their credit Carrickcruppen contributed to the entertainment and deserved to have kept the score a lot tighter.