Sarsfields move into camogie quarter-finals unbeaten despite Ballygarvan test

Sars have been impressive throughout the SE Systems Senior Camogie group stages
Sarsfields move into camogie quarter-finals unbeaten despite Ballygarvan test

Who has the sliothar? The Ballygarvan and Sarsfields players reach out for possession in Sunday's game. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Sarsfields 3-17 Ballygarvan 4-8 

SARSFIELDS made it four wins from four but a young Ballygarvan, with only one victory under their belt, can be hugely proud of their performance in this SE Systems Senior Camogie clash in Blarney. 

All through they played with huge intensity and made Sars fight to the end for their victory.

Ballygarvan could consider themselves a bit unlucky to have trailed by five points, 1-8 to 1-3, at the interval after an opening 30 minutes where they matches the favourites in all sectors. Player for player they worked hard and their defence was superb as they stood firm against a lot of pressure. 

Ballygarvan's Sinead Lyons pulls away from Lucy Allen and Katlyn Sheehan of Sarsfields. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Ballygarvan's Sinead Lyons pulls away from Lucy Allen and Katlyn Sheehan of Sarsfields. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Up front, Ballygarvan had plenty of possession but the Sarsfields defence closed them down and never allowed them much time to get in that vital final strike.

Ballygarvan led by four points inside five minutes of the throw-in, Molly Kelleher with a point opening their account before the impressive Tara Crowley billowed the net with a powerful strike for the opening goal.

Sarsfields settled and got themselves into the game Orlaith Mullins hit two points in a row, Lucy Allen added one and with two converted frees they edged ahead. Ballygarvan continued to make it hard as their defence continued to work hard, yet two Lucy Allen points stretched the Sarsfields lead to three points. 

When Kaitlin Sheehan collected a long delivery from defence she made no mistake finishing to the net to push the gap out to six. 

Still, Ballygarvan refused to wilt Rachel O'Regan pointed before Tara Crowley tested Molly Lynch with an attempt on goal, Catriona Kelly pointed the resulting 45 but it was Sarsfields who finished the half with an Orlaith Mullins point.

Sarsfields started the second half with two fast Mullins points and after Lucy Allen hit the net it looked as if the floodgates would open. 

Credit Ballygarvan who kept working hard. Cliona O’Leary converted two long-range frees before Rachel O’Regan asked huge questions of the Sars defences and raised a green flag.

Sarsfields added five points without reply only for Ballygarvan's Molly Kelleher to grab a goal. 

Sars hit back with one from Kate Fennessy but the final say was with a spirited Ballygarvan as Rachel O'Regan secured her second goal. 

Sarsfields march into the quarter-finals, with the draw to be made on Monday night, but for Ballygarvan a proud display as their campaign ends.

Scorers for Sarsfields: L Allen, K Sheehan 1-4 each, O Mullins 0-4, C Lynch 0-4 (0-2 f), K Fennessy 1-0, C Mullins, C Casey E Woods (f) 0-1 each.

Ballygarvan: R O'Regan 2-1, M Kelleher 1-1, C Kelly 0-3 (0-1 45, 0-1 f), T Crowley 1-0, C O’ Leary 0-2 f, I O’Regan 0-1. 

SARSFIELDS: M Lynch; E Casey, E Murphy, T Elliott; A McNamara, A Fitzgerald, M Mullins; C Mullins, C Lynch; E Woods, L Allen, O Mullins; S Desmond, K Sheehan, H Herlihy.

Subs: C Casey for E Woods (h-t), K Fennessy for H Herlihy (h-t), R Roche for E Murphy (h-t), M Sheehan for O Mullins (50). 

BALLYGARVAN: S Aherne; S O'Donovan, S Lyons, E Casey; E O'Regan, C O'Leary, K Dorney; J Sheehy, R O'Regan; I O'Regan, C Kelly, M Buckley; T Crowley, M Kelleher, L Casey.

Subs: K O'Sullivan for E O'Regan (52), SJ Brady for S O'Donovan (52), D Lyons for E Casey (54), A O'Mahony for S Aherne (58).

Referee: Dave O'Connell (Glen Rovers).

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