Sarsfields 0-19 Douglas 0-15
A CONTRIBUTION of a dozen points from Eoin O’Sullivan was a huge factor in Sarsfields' deserved victory over Douglas in the third-round of the SHC at Páirc Uí Rinn.
All of O’Sullivan’s points were from placed balls but, firstly they had to be earned by those around him and secondly quite a few were from distance and angles that were certainly not easy.
Sarsfields finished the contest much stronger than their city opponents, outscoring them by 0-6 to 0-1 in the closing stages and that was another significant element in their progress to the last eight.
Defensively they can be well pleased with their performance too and apart from Alan Cadogan in the opening half, they contained the Douglas attack effectively with Conor O’Sullivan, Eoghan Murphy and William Kearney, among others all showing up very well.
Danny Kearney too, as usual, worked tirelessly around the middle and they had Jack O’Connor rifling over three very important points from play over the hour.
Substitute James Sweeney delivered a fine point too after his second-half introduction and the Riverstown outfit were also the more economical side with Douglas shooting a lot more wides.
Tactically, the use of sweepers at either end suited Sars more and neither goalkeeper had a shot of any significance to make. Indeed the game never really exploded into life despite the fact that the sides were level nine times over the course of the hour.
Douglas will be very disappointed to exit the championship again at a very early stage and in the end, it was very much a case of Sars' greater experience in these situations being a telling factor. Eoin Cadogan, Mark Harrington and a far from fully fit Alan Cadogan, who later went off injured, could not be faulted where they were concerned while young Cillian O’Donovan tried hard too in the number seven jersey.
The sides could not be dragged apart at all for the vast majority of the opening half and they were level on numerous occasions before Douglas got their noses in front at the break on a scoreline of 0-10 to 0-9.
Shane Kingston and Cadogan shared seven points between them for Douglas in that opening half with Brian Turnbull, Mark O’Connor and Mark Collins also registering scores.
Eoin O’Sullivan had six points attached to his name by the break with Aaron Myers and Jack O’Connor also splitting the posts.
Just before the interval a very nasty fracas developed on the Boreenmanna Road side of the ground involving players and mentors from both sides but things cooled down when they came back out.
Cillian O’Donovan pointed for the city team on the resumption with Eoin O’Sullivan cancelling that out with another point from the placed ball.
The sides were deadlocked again by the 43rd minute and we looked to be in for a grandstand final quarter Mark O’Connor and James Sweeney exchanged points and still, they could not be divided.
But then the pendulum swung firmly in Sars direction with Eoin O’Sullivan efficiency and accuracy from frees coming to the forefront once more.
He fired over three unanswered points and suddenly the men from Riverstown were three to the good.
Shane Kingston brought it back to two on the 58-minute mark but that was it for Douglas.
Danny Kearney hit a beauty for Sars and it was only right and fitting that the last score of the night belonged to that man, Eoin O'Sullivan.
Another point from a 65 put the game beyond the reach of Douglas and Sars moved confidently into the quarter-finals, the draws for that round being made tonight.
So ended a contest that maybe did not live up to pre-match expectations but when push came to shove in the closing sequences it was Sars who had the resources and the know-how to see the game out.
After a disappointing loss in the league final, their show is back on the road again.
Scorers for Sarsfields: E O’Sullivan 0-12 (0-11 f, 0-1 65), J O’Connor 0-3, D Kearney, J Sweeney, A Myers, T Óg Murphy 0-1 each.
Douglas: S Kingston 0-7 (0-6 f), A Cadogan 0-3, M O’Connor 0-2, B Turnbull, M Collins, C O’Donovan 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS: A Kennedy; D Kenneally, C Leahy, D English; E Murphy, C O’Sullivan, G Grey; W Kearney, D Kearney; E O’Sullivan, T Óg Murphy, L Healy; L Hackett, A Myers, J O’Connor.
Sub: J Sweeney for Healy (41).
DOUGLAS: T Delaney; N Walsh, E Cadogan, D Murphy; C Kingston, M Harrington, C O’Donovan; S Moylan, M Collins; D O'Mahony, S Kingston, M O’Connor, A Cadogan, S Donegan, B Turnbull.
Subs: C Baldwin for Donegan (50), J Collins for O’Connor (55), A Ward for A Cadogan (59 inj).
Referee: D Copps (Ballyhea).