Exciting draw fair outcome

Sarsfields U16 2-8 Middletown U16 2-8

SARSFIELDS and Middletown under-16 sides served up an exciting draw last Saturday afternoon in the all-county Division 3 final.

It was Middletown who started the best, racing to a 1-1 to 0-1 lead inside the first ten minutes. ‘Trasna skipper Caolan Skelton opened his side’s account with a point and the midfielder made no mistake from the penalty spot soon after Ryan Creaney was upended in the square when bearing down on goals.

The young Highmoss side went in just one point in front at the break. The Sarsfields second goal of this period came from their centre forward Michael McKenna whose long range effort was parried over the line by the Middletown ‘keeper Conor McArdle.

Although Middletown raced out of the blocks in the second half to hit the opening score, it was the young Highmoss men who gained control of the third quarter with their defenders Conan McAlinden, Roan Guiney, Fergal Blaney and, in particular, Owen McConville holding sway. The Hoops’ attack moved into overdrive with points from Ryan Creaney, Kevin McAlinden, the alert James McAlinden and scores from Michael McKenna and skipper Skelton set them up for a six points lead.

With Ruairi Blaney impressing alongside the hard working Michael Austin and Danny McCaughley’s presence causing the mid-Armagh men problems up front, the Sarsfields looked all over the winners with just ten minutes remaining. Middletown, however, had other ideas. Driven on by three of their strongest players, Tiernan Nevan, Aodhan Harnett and Shea Mone they hit the net with five minutes remaining.

A number of uncharacteristic errors from the ‘Trasna defence presented the opposition with valuable late scores and at the end of a sweltering hour’s action the sides were level. Michael McConville, Caomhin Robinson and Fintan Murray all helped in turning defence into attack and goalkeeper Johnny Reynolds dealt well under pressured moments in the game.