SARSFIELDS 3-10 TULLYSARAN 2-11
THANKS to a late Niall Stones’ goal in thec dying minutes Sarsfields reached the division three County Championship final.
They clinched a place in the decider against Middletown which has been fixed for the start of September.
The semi-final win against Tullysaran was no more than the young ‘Trasna side deserved as they led almost from start to finish and had to weather a second half fightback from their opponents but showed great battling qualities to pull out all the stops before the end.
The winners were missing players through injury and had a number of their side on holiday but the players who took to the field certainly did not shirk their responsibilities. The Sarsfields hit three goals in the first half to, at one stage, go eight points in front.
Ryan Creaney put Michael McKenna through and the centre forward finished with some aplomb for the opening score of the game. The Hoops’ second goal came from the penalty spot after their man of the match Caomhin Robinson had been upended in the square. Caolan Skelton duly obliged with the spot kick.
Although Tullysaran hit the net themselves soon after following some sloppy defending from the winners, Ryan Creaney was quickest to react on fifteen minutes when Caolan Skelton’s drive struck the crossbar and the striker finished to the roof of the net. Points from Skelton and Michael McKenna sent the ‘Trasna men in at the break five in front.
If the Sarsfields opening spell was all about creating an early lead, the second period signalled a revival for the slow starting Tullysaran lads. They took the fight to the winners and hit their second goal midway through the half to add to a series of points.
Scores from Skelton, McKenna and Robinson, however, kept the winners afloat as, although dominating for long periods, the Hoops were forced to defend desperately in the second half.
The full back line of Roan Guiney and Danny McCaughley showed great resilience, as did the half back trio of Caomhin Robinson, Michael McConville and Conan McAlinden. In goals, new boy Johnny Reynolds made a number of telling interceptions and, when introduced, Owen McConville showed his worth. The pick of the Sarsfields defenders in a backs to the wall last quarter was probably Fergal Blaney who was a tower of strength.
The young Tullysaran side also battled to the end and they actually took the lead for the first time in the game inside the last five minutes but a blistering move involving Skelton, Creaney and Robinson finished with Niall Stones blasting to the net to give the ‘Trasna side a two points victory.
Whilst the young ‘Trasna outfit carried the underdogs tag into last Saturday night’s semi-final, they would know that further improvement will be needed in the final against a fancied Middletown side.