Carrickcruppin 4-10 Sarsfields 0-12
A hat-trick of goals from Carrickcruppin’s Declan Carville cushioned the South Armagh side to a Senior Championship semi-final pairing against Crossmaglen this Saturday.
Sarsfields now contemplate going back to the drawing board albeit in the short term considering their first division standing is assured. On the form the Hoops showed last weekend the prospect of facing the All Ireland Champions could well have been in the back of their minds, a theory not lost on some of their supporters in the aftermath of their second half collapse.
It took Carrickruppin a while to realise that their North Armagh opponents were vunerable in the air, and when the diagonal balls were replaced by long punts forward there could be only one winner of this particular Championship quarter-final.
The sides had finished all square on their previous meeting and on that occassion it was Cruppin who were forced to pull the game out of the fire. The second time around and Trasna looked all over the winners, well at least for the first quarter when their mobility caused the eventual winners all sorts of problems. Sarsfields lead by five points to one with early scores from, Eamon McGeown, Paul McGaughey at the double, Darren Breen, and Johnny Reynolds, But in the white heat of Championship action possession must be capitalised on, the two goal chances which were clear cut in the opening period if converted may well have damaged Cruppin who began in the period before the break to believe that their eight wides would eventually be overcome.
Partly loosing their shape the High Moss led by a single score on the short whistle. One of the highlights of the half was a sublime strike from Eimead Murray from out on the right on 22 minutes. Points from Keenan, Carville and Monaghan kept Cruppin in touch until they eventually found their rhythm. Battling manfully at midfield yet being overrun the Hoops went two in front at the start of the second half when Michael Stevenson struck twice from dead balls.
Two goals however in a five minute period from Keenan and Carville respectively killed the game as a contest, And when Carville completed his hat-trick soon after it was curtains for the High Moss who replied with token scores from Eamon McGeown and Michael Stevenson.
The balance in all of this will no doubt become apparent on Saturday at the Athletic Grounds, and in retrospect the height and physicality of this particular Carickcruppin team is an attribute more fitting than the mobility of last weekends defeated quarter-finalists. Particularly when the opponents are the current All Ireland Club Champions.