Sarsfields 2-17 Midleton 2-15
IN a close fought game Sarsfields are through to the semi-final of the Premier 1 MHC after their win over Midleton last night.
Their win sees the Magpies, the defending champions, out of this year’s championship as Sars and the Glen progress from this group with a game to spare.
And to their credit the champions didn’t go down without a fight and even at the death had a free to possibly take it to extra-time, but Brion Saunderson’s effort went just over, rather then under, the bar and from the re-start the final whistle came.
In a game that was tight there were two key moments, both in the second-half. The first was a goal from David Lynch, set up by the outstanding Rory O’Brien which put Sars a point up. The second came after 46 minutes when the Magpies Charlie Walsh was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
In such a tight game being down a man was going to tell but they certainly can’t be faulted for their efforts and it took a superb performance from Sars to get the better of them.
Colm McCarthy opened the scoring just 15 seconds in for Sars, with Michael Finn replying for the Magpies.
O’Brien pointed from a free for Sars, but with five minutes gone Midleton got their first goal of the half, when a long ball in from a free was flicked on in the air by Evan Kelly, to make it 1-1 to 0-2.
Darragh McCarthy added a point for them, before Ben Nodwell and O’Brien replied for Sars. Points from McCarthy, Conor Fitzgerald, with two, made it 1-7 to 0-6, but credit to Sars they responded in style.
Lynch pointed before a sweeping moved involving O’Brien early on saw him on the end of it for a top-class goal, to level it 1-7 apiece.
Both sides added points and as half-time approached it was 1-9 each.
In injury-time a brilliant run from Paul Connaughton saw him blast to the back of the net, with Finn and Daniel Cagney adding points to see the Magpies lead 2-11 to 1-9 at half time.
O’Brien pulled a point back for Sars at the start of the second-half, with Lynch adding a second to put a goal between the sides. Fitzgerald pointed from another free, with O’Brien responding at the other end. Two more from O’Brien made it 1-15 to 2-14, with 43 minutes on the clock. From the re-start O’Brien regained possession and took on the Midleton defence and his pass found Lynch to score their second goal, putting them a point in front.
Lynch added a point and just before the water break Walsh was sent off, with Sars leading 2-16 to 2-14.
Both sides failed to score again until injury-time, with O’Brien pointing from a free and Saunderson the same on the stroke of full-time as Sars move on and the Magpies bow out.
Scorers for Sarsfields: R O’Brien 1-8 (6f), D Lynch 1-3, Colin McCarthy, B Nodwell 0-2 each, O Sheppard, J Kingston 0-1 each.
Midleton: C Fitzgerald 0-8 (6f), P Connaughton, E Kelly 1-0 each, M Finn, D Cagney, D McCarthy 0-2 each, B Saunderson 0-1 (f).
SARSFIELDS: N Marron; D Murray, L Elliott, O Compton; J Bowen, Cathal McCarthy, O Kelleher; Colm McCarthy, Cillian McCarthy; J Kingston; O Sheppard, B Nodwell; D Lynch, F O’Brien, R O’Brien.
Subs: L Casey for Cillian McCarthy, Z O’Sullivan for O Compton, (both ht), D Long for O Sheppard (55m).
MIDLETON: B Saunderson; G Reddy, C Smyth, P Kane; L Hennessy, C Walsh, A Fay; J Fitzgerald, C Fitzgerald; A Coughlan, M Finn, D McCarthy; P Connaughton, D Cagney, E Kelly.
Subs: B O’Connell for D McCarthy, D Cremin for E Kelly (both 47m), T Roche for A Coughlan (60m).
Referee: Ciaran O’Regan, Ballyhea.