Clann Éireann 0-9 Sarsfields 2-12
WITH both sides under strength, it was difficult to assess how last week’s first division derby clash between Clann Éireann and Sarsfields would pan out.
As it transpired, it was the ‘Trasna outfit who adapted best to push themselves into a mid-table position yet, despite their early season positivity, Clann Éireann have not won for a while and now stare down the barrel of relegation albeit at least in the short term.
Without Danny France, Michael Lyness and Danny Shanks amongst others, the Shore Road side tackled a Highmoss team in confident mood having beaten Culloville last time out playing text book football.
Against Clann Eireann, they made little of the fact that they had to shuffle their pack in the absence of Michael Stevenson, Thomas McAlinden, and Paul McGeown as two goals from Paul McGaughey on 25 minutes and 47 minutes respectively sealed the Sarsfields victory.
The first effort came after some clever play from both Aidan Haughian and the effective Johnny Niblock which set the former Armagh attacker on his way.
In retrospect though, McGaughey’s initial strike arrived only seconds after a free against Clann Eireann who appeared to be harshly penalised when Conor McKavangh was adjudged to have lifted the ball off the ground.
The home side at this stage appeared rocked considering that, following a bad start, they had pulled themselves back on level terms at five points apiece approaching the half time whistle.
Several players stood out for the winners, Johnny Niblock used the ball intelligently, Colin Stevenson made the best of some of the chances available to him and another Stevenson, Peter, impressed at corner back.
The conduit for the winners was the consistency over the hour of Eamon McGeown, who impressed particularly when the Clanns were striving to gain a foothold.
The two best scores on the night came from the boots of Sean McDermott and Daniel McKavanagh who shot sublime efforts from narrow angles for the Lake Street men.
Paul McGaughey’s goal was the difference between the sides at the break, Sarsfields leading on a scoreline of 1-6 to 0-6.
Early points from Colin Stevenson, Eamon McGeown and Richard Stevenson were responded to by a sweet effort from Barry Seeley and strikes from Conor McCavanagh and Sean McDermott with Paul Magee getting in the act for the Hoops.
After the break, Clann Éireann enjoyed their best period, Seeley and Shane Haughey added scores to leave just a single point between them but the hosts, following that Haughey point on the thirty sixth minute, were not to score again until Mark Beattie shot over in injury time.
Meanwhile, a rampant ‘Trasna outfit registered points from Colin and Richard Stevenson, Brian Lavery and Eamon McGeown.
Converted defender Kieran McAlinden got the score he deserved for a night of unselfish work and Paul McGaughey’s second goal 13 minutes from time killed the game as a contest.