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Cullyhanna edge out the Highmoss

posted 2 May 2011, 11:38 by Sarsfields PRO
Cullyhanna 0-08 Sarsfields 0-06

Colin Stevenson was out through injury but Peter Stevenson was available for this game and returned to his full back role. Eoin Murray had came on against Maghery and played well, so he was given his first league start, in for Declan Breen.

This match was played in very blustery conditions, making it difficult for both teams to play good football. Sarsfields had the advantage of having the strong wind on their backs in the first half. Straight from the throw in Sarsfields went on the attack and had a goal chance when Eamon McGeown got the ball in behind the Cullyhanna defence. The keeper saved, but Eamon would be the first to admit that he should have hit the net from that position. Richie Stevenson sent over a point but Cullyhanna quickly replied and pushed ahead with their second point. Paul Hughes levelled matters with a nice point judging the conditions perfectly from fifty yards. He followed this up with a great catch and slipped the ball to Peter Stevenson who also floated over a good point assisted by the strong wind. However, quite a few Sarsfields chances were lost as a consequence of the players not being able to cope with the conditions. Many passes bypassed the forward line and went out for wides or went straight to the Cullyhanna defenders and several shots were well wide. In the closing stages of the half two Cullyhanna points saw them edge ahead by a point. In a decent move Paul Magee and Eoin Murray combined to set Thomas McAlinden on a good run who blasted the ball over the bar. Had the shot been a shade lower, the ball might well have hit the net. A moment later John Stevenson set Thomas up for a great goal chance, but somehow his effort went both high and wide of the mark. Cullyhanna scored the final point of the half with an injury time free to lead by a point and they were surely very happy with their position given that they had been practically playing into a gale.

On the restart Cullyhanna went four points up. The home side had control of the game, but they were also finding it difficult to make best use of the conditions. On a positive note for Sarsfields the defence was playing very well. In particular the full back line of Ciaran Kerr, Peter Stevenson and Brian Kerr were not only stopping Cullyhanna, but were driving out with the ball and starting of decent moves. This helped Sarsfields to get a few scoring chances, but it was midway through the half before they got their first point, a volley from Eamon McGeown which could as easily have gone under the bar as over it. A moment later, Paul McGaughey had the ball in the Cullyhanna net after getting a flick on a long ball. It was disallowed as a square ball and whilst Paul was adamant he was outside the square, the Highmoss have been on the wrong side of a couple of these decisions this season. Sarsfields had a few chances as the game neared its end but all were missed. Richie Stevenson pointed from a free to leave two in it but Sarsfields just couldn’t close the gap. The conditions dictated that this wasn’t a day for good football, but the Highmoss forward line can look to a succession of missed chances that lead to their defeat. It might be pointed out that Cullyhanna also missed chances. However what they didn’t lack was work rate.