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Hoopettes are Just Champion

posted 29 Aug 2011, 15:44 by Sarsfields PRO   [ updated 29 Aug 2011, 15:53 ]
Sarsfields 2-12 Tullysaran 2-03
Sarsfields produced a superb performance to win their first junior title in Abbey Park.

Sarsfields were on top early on but the passes were not making the forwards and a few early efforts were sent wide. It was looking like a bit of nerves and what was needed was a score or two to settle the team. It has to be said though when attacking possession was lost, the forward line put great pressure on the Tullysaran defence as they were trying to clear their lines. Andrea McAlinden in particular made some great blocks, regaining Highmoss possession. Against the run of play Tullysaran’s centre half forward Colette McSorley was able to run fifty yards and stun Sarsfields with a very well taken goal. The Highmoss could have gone further behind but Aishlene Scullion made a great clearance in the back line. Rachel McKeag settled the team down with a great point from thirty yards. This was quickly followed by a goal from Andrea McAlinden. Andrea collected on a parried shot and blasted the ball low and hard to the net. Tullysaran levelled matters from forty yards and again it was their centre half forward. Colleen Murray was unlucky not to get a touch on a great ball in from Ciara Robinson, as the slightest touch would surely have had the ball in the Tullysaran net. A moment later Colleen made a superb catch on the edge of the square, turned and blasted the ball inches over the bar for a point that could just as easily have been a goal. Niamh McGeown pointed a free and Rachel McKeag put Sarsfields three up with her second point from play. A moment later Rachel scored her third point, after getting a great pass from Aishlene Scullion. Tullysaran pulled a point back through full forward Aileen O’Hagan, but it was to be their last score of the half. Sarsfields received a blow when Aishlene Scullion who was having a great game, was forced to go off injured after an accidental collision. Luckily the Highmoss were able to bring on Niamh Robinson and it has to be said that Niamh had a great performance. In the remaining five minutes of the half points from Niamh McGeown and Rachel McKeag saw Sarsfields lead 1-08 to 1-02 though the lead could have been greater but for several wides.

Early in the second half Niamh McGeown hit a superb point, her first from play despite the best efforts of the Tullysaran defence. Tullysaran then had a period where they narrowly missed a goal chance and then hit the net and again it was their centre half forward. Tullysaran added a point from a free and were denied further chances by great defensive work. Sarsfields added on a couple of points through Clare Gallagher and Niamh McGeown after a lengthy enough period without scoring.

The victory began to look more certain when a Ciara Robinson increased the lead to eight points with a long range goal. Ciara might well have been going for the point but was hardly disappointed when the ball dropped just short and under the bar. As the Highmoss pressure continued, Colleen Murray saw a goal chance just about held on the line. Andrea McAlinden knocked over a point deep into injury time just as the Highmoss faithful were planning their pitch invasion. The final whistle saw huge celebration for the large Highmoss support. It was a super team performance, team captain Nola McAlinden had led by example, there were great defensive performances and great saves by Brenda Shanks. All of the forwards showed great work rate and teamwork. When the Player of the game was announced there was no doubt as to who the star player was. Niamh McGeown had been simply outstanding and covered practically every blade of grass on Abbey Park.