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Whitecross Win Secures Safety

posted 29 Aug 2011, 16:05 by Sarsfields PRO
Whitecross 1-16 Sarsfields 3-12

Eoin Murray, Peter Stevenson and Colin Stevenson came in for Aidan Haughian, Paul McGeown and Johnny Reynolds. The half back line was completely revamped with Michael Stevenson dropping back to join Eoin and Peter.

From a Highmoss perspective it was pretty much a typical start. That is they got off to a slow start both in defence and attack. Sarsfields had several attacks that were overplayed and at the other end Whitecross were able to cut through the Highmoss defence with ease.

The home side hit the first point coming after three Highmoss attacks ended scoreless, either taking a pass too many or been easily blocked down. One of these in particular could have been easily fisted over the bar. Whitecross added a couple of points to go three up and they could have been further ahead if they had been more accurate in their shooting. Colin Stevenson hit the first Highmoss point selling his marker a good dummy to create the space for the shot. However Whitecross were in the ascendancy hit a couple of points, one of which was a super goal chance and was a let off for Sarsfields. Colin Stevenson added a point after his brother Michael made a great run up the sideline to give him a handy chance. Just before that point Colin again had sold his marker a good dummy but had sent the shot wide. Whitecross hit the next three points in as many minutes and really it was looking too easy for them. The home side was deservedly leading by six points. Sarsfields came back into the match with a somewhat fortuitous goal. Thomas McAlinden went for a point and the effort dropped short and the Whitecross keeper failed to deal with the ball. To his credit Eimeid Murray did particularly well to get the touch in for the goal and punish the keeper’s mistake. This gave the Highmoss a lift and Thomas McAlinden quickly hit the next point and Paul McGaughey reduced the deficit to a single point. Both sides exchanged a trio of points to leave a point between the sides at half time though again Whitecross might have had a goal, the ball clipping the bar and going over. The points came from two Richie Stevenson frees and a Michael Stevenson shot, Sarsfields also had a couple of wides as the half ended.

Whitecross edged further ahead in the second half with two early points. Colin Stevenson pulled a point back and he had a lot to do to get the score, but really Sarsfields were on the back foot. Midway through the half Whitecross hit a goal and quickly added a point to lead by six. At this stage it was looking like Sarsfields wouldn’t be getting that vital point to ensure safety.

Colin Stevenson quickly restored some hope when Richie found him with a good pass and Colin did well to slide the ball under the Whitecross keeper. Whitecross came back with a point to subdue the Highmoss optimism. Paul McGaughey sent over a superb point from a free from outside fifty meters. Whether he was going for the point or trying to drop the ball into the danger zone is a matter for debate, but it was a great kick. Michael Stevenson added a long range point of his own and the deficit was down to two points with some glimmer of hope appearing. With less than five minutes remaining Colin Stevenson was brought down in the square when bearing down on goal. Possibly Colin should not have taken that extra step before shooting, but there was no doubt he had been fouled. Richie Stevenson stepped up and confidently shot the ball to the net. Being a point up Sarsfields showed an increased sense of urgency. Colin Stevenson saw a shot drift wide before the home side levelled matters. However in injury time Thomas McAlinden and Eamon McGeown hit points in injury time to see Sarsfields win by two points.

The vital point was that Sarsfields could not now be caught by Carrickcruppen and had secured their position in Division One for another season. It could well be that this was the last game of the season as the final two fixtures are against the two relegated teams.