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ACL Division One

posted 18 Apr 2011, 02:27 by Sarsfields PRO   [ updated 30 May 2011, 03:31 ]

Granemore 3-12 Sarsfields 2-08

Darren McAvoy was unavailable so Neill McCann deputised between the posts and Paul Hughes was added to the considerable Highmoss injury list. On a positive note Mark Reynolds returned from injury.

Yet again the match was played in blustery conditions with Granemore having the slight advantage of what could be described as a diagonal breeze.

Sarsfields struck first when a good ball on top of Eamon McGeown resulted in a point. Granemore responded and with waves of attacks were quickly four points to one ahead. On the other hand Sarsfields attacks were breaking down, being forced to use the short ball and seeing passes going astray. Granemore took advantage and in the tenth minute had the ball in the Highmoss net. Again it was the long route one ball causing Sarsfields problems. This sparked a revival from the Highmoss and their next two scores, both being goals saw Sarsfields edge into the lead. The first came after brave and determined play from Kieran McAlinden turned over possession between two Granemore defenders and set Eamon McGeown up for a goal. The next goal came ten minutes later from Eoin Murray after he collected a cross field ball from Thomas McAlinden. Eoin’s shot clipped the keeper but gratefully crossed the line. Johnny Reynolds quickly followed with an excellent point and before half time might have had a goal. The chance came when Eamon McGeown put a clever soccer style cross low across the danger area. However neither Johnny nor Thomas McAlinden was able to capitalise on this chance. Granemore had a couple of chances to equalise but sent both wide. This saw Sarsfields lead by a point at the break and for the visitors there was some optimism considering they would have some advantage from the breeze for half an hour. All in all it was an encouraging Sarsfields performance.

Granemore took the upper hand in the second half. They were quickly on level terms from what seemed like a harsh free after Paul Magee made a textbook shoulder to shoulder challenge. Sarsfields had a chance to level matters with a free but Thomas McAlinden saw his effort go wide. Granemore’s next score saw their midfielder run fifty yards unchallenged to edge them further ahead. Sarsfields had a chance to regain the lead when Kieran McAlinden reacted to a Paul Magee shot coming off the post. Unfortunately for Kieran the spin on the ball saw his palmed effort rise over the bar. Both sides exchanged scores and with fifteen minutes remaining the sides were level. Great defensive work denied Granemore a goal chance, however possession was lost as Sarsfields broke out and the goal came for Granemore. This was a blow to the Highmoss and a boost for the home side, who almost added further goal but were denied by an excellent save from Neill McCann who pushed the ball over the bar. Sarsfields responded with a Johnny Reynolds free and a point from Thomas McAlinden that might have ended in the net had the shot been kept down. An Eamon McGeown point using the wind after great work from Paul McGaughey reduced the margin to a single point with ten minutes remaining. The next three or four minutes though saw Sarsfields concede 1-02 without reply and the chance of gaining some very valuable points was gone. The goal was particularly unlucky coming after Peter Stevenson had tripped going for the ball, leaving a handy chance for the forward.

On the face of it a seven point defeat looks bad enough, but the score line doesn’t tell the full story. Sarsfields could have been closer, though it has to be said that Granemore had the sharper and harder working forward line.