Sarsfields 1-17 Glen Rovers 1-7
SARS are through to the RedFM Senior Hurling League final as they defeated Glen Rovers by 10 points at Riverstown on Sunday afternoon.
An excellent display from the attacking duo of Luke Hackett and Eoin O’Sullivan, who accounted for 1-12 of their side’s 1-17 total, was enough to send the holders of the title through to the final where they will meet St Finbarr’s or Douglas.
Despite what the full-time scoreline may suggest, the game started evenly with both sides notching early points. Sars opened the scoring when Cian Darcy grabbed a well-taken point in the first few minutes shortly before Patrick Horgan fired over an excellent free to level terms.
Full forward Luke Hackett added two overs for the home side moments later before Conor Dorris reduced the deficit to make 0-3 to 0-2.
But Sarsfields soon threatened to pull away from their opponents as they scored three unanswered points from Paul Leopold and a brace of precise frees from the accurate Eoin O’Sullivan.
But Glen Rovers, to their credit, refused to let their heads drop and a couple of converted frees of their own from Cork hurler Patrick O’Sullivan reduced the arrears to a single point at the midway point in the first half.
Another set piece from Eoin O’Sullivan made it 0-7 to 0-4 before the visitors grabbed the first goal of the game thanks to an extraordinary hit from Horgan.
It seemed like Horgan would tap over his free from relatively far out but the All-star hurler had other ideas as he drilled the ball past the Glen players on the line and into the roof of the net.
Rovers took the lead for the first time in the match with 20 minutes on the clock as Brian Moylan put the ball over the black spot following some clever build-up play from his teammates.
Little did they know at the time, that was the last time in this entertaining game that they would be in front as Sars soon upped the tempo.
Full forward Luke Hackett scored two quick-fire points to see Sars retake the lead but the Glen hit back with a sensational score from Patrick Horgan to make the scoreboard read 0-9 to 1-6 as the first period drew to a close.
Rovers would rue hitting three wides before the interval as they were punished by Sars’ Eoin O’Sullivan and Luke Hackett to ensure it was they who were ahead by two points.
Sarsfield’s took that momentum into the second half and they blew their opponents away with some fine scores shortly after the restart.
Jack O’Connor and another Eoin O’Sullivan free helped last year’s Senior League winners extend their lead to four points before Sars waved a green flag to put them in complete control of proceedings.
Conor O’Sullivan’s powerful drive was well saved by Rovers’ Paul Hickey but the goalkeeper was unfortunate to see the sliotar drop perfectly for the alert Luke Hackett to tap in from a yard.
Sarsfields notched three more points to make it 1-16 to 1-6 with just over 10 minutes remaining before Patrick Horgan got his team’s first score of the second period as he raised a white flag from play.
It wasn’t to be their day though and Sarsfield completed the scoring late on when Conor O’Sullivan drilled over.
Scorers for Sarsfields: L Hackett 1-5, E O’Sullivan 0-7 f, P Leopold 0-2, C Darcy, J O’Connor and C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Glen Rovers: P Horgan 1-5 (1-3 f), C Dorris and B Moylan 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS: A Kennedy; W Kearney, C Leahy, C Roche; G Grey, P Leopold, E Quigley; C O’Sullivan, D Kearney; D Roche, J Sweeney, C Darcy; J O’Connor, L Hackett, E O’Sullivan.
Subs: C Roche for C Darcy (42), K Crowley for E Quigley (45).
GLEN ROVERS: P Hickey; A Lynch, S McDonnell, C Healy; D Dooley, B Moylan, R Downey; D Noonan, A O’Donovan; M Dooley, P Horgan, L Coughlan; C Dorris, S Kennefick, G Kennefick.
Subs: G Moylan for R Downey (38), E O’Connell for A O’Donovan (47).
Referee: Pa O’Driscoll.