Sarsfields 0-21 Cloughduv 0-16
SARSFIELDS produced a brilliant second-half to knock Cloughduv out of the IAHC at Ovens.
Sars' second team overturned a three-point deficit at the interval to set up a semi-final against Éire Óg, who beat them in the first round of the group stages.
Inspired displays from attacking trio Killian Murphy, Eoin O’Sullivan and Cormac Duggan were huge factors in their win. Cloughduv, in stark contrast, were over-reliant on the Verling brothers for their scores.
Cloughduv initially started brightly. Inspired by Brian and Mark Verling, they surged into a three-point lead, 0-5 to 0-2 after 10 minutes. Sarsfields responded with two successive points through Killian Murphy and Cormac Duggan, which reduced the arrears to one point after the first quarter.
Cloughduv began the second quarter in clinical fashion. They scored four consecutive points which moved them five clear after 22 minutes. Sars finished the half strongly with James O’Leary and Cormac Duggan adding late scores. This ensured they trailed by three points at half-time, 0-11 to 0-8.
Sars were a rejuvenated outfit in the second half. They asserted their dominance in every sector of the pitch. They scored five points without reply within the opening seven minutes which moved them two points clear. Eoin O’Sullivan, Killian Murphy and Duggan were instrumental in their second-half heroics.
The Verling brothers however continued to pose problems for the Sars defence. Two successive scores from them ensured Cloughduv only trailed by one point after 45 minutes, 0-14 to 0-13.
Sarsfields finished the game strongly. Their momentum and greater experience shone through in the closing stages. Successive scores from Eoin O’Sullivan and Duggan quickly moved them three points clear. Brian Verling immediately reduced the arrears to two points with six minutes remaining.
Sars were not to be denied. A flurry of late scores ensured they secured a comfortable five-point win.
Scorers for Sarsfields: C Duggan 0-7 (0-5 f), K Murphy 0-5, E O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-1 f), S O’Driscoll, J O’Leary, P O’Driscoll, D Kenneally, 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cloughduv: B Verling 0-9 (0-6 f), M Verling 0-5, M Walsh, E Curzon 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS: C Looney; N Fitzpatrick, E Gaffey, K Walsh; K Crowley, G Grey, D Kenneally; D Barry, C English; J O’Leary, K Murphy, S O’Driscoll; E O’Sullivan, C Duggan, A Hackett.
Subs: C McCarthy for D Barry (25), P O’Driscoll for A Hackett (55).
CLOUGHDUV: J Buckley; J Moynihan, B Ahern, P Buckley; T Dineen, E Clifford, D O’Leary; L Kelleher, A Twomey, A Murphy, M Walsh, W Ahern; B Verling, M Verling; E Curzon.
Subs: E McNabola for E Curzon (38), J Kelleher for T Dineen (38), D Corkery for A Twomey (38).
Referee: Teddy O’Donovan (Douglas).