McKernan the master as Sarsfield battle back to book semi-final spot

Antrim Junior Football Championship

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Man of the match Kevin McKernan

Patrick Sarsfield’s 2-15 Ardoyne Kickham’s 1-9

When Sarsfield trailed by six points at half time in Friday evening’s Junior Football Championship quarter final against Ardoyne their tag as favourites to win the competition outright suddenly seemed misguided. However the Paddies came out transformed in the second half and totally dominated the game to go on and win by an impressive nine point margin.

The man who did most of the damage for the Paddies in that second period was Kevin McKernan who controlled the game brilliantly as he scored an impressive total of 1-11. The centre-forward was in top form as he pulled the strings to see his team through to a semi-final.

Played in a total downpour wind supported Ardoyne took an early lead with two pointed frees by Cormac Mullan. Sarsfields were struggling to find their form in the adverse conditions but the got off the mark when Kevin McKernan and Gary Lenon slotted over points apiece from play. Ardoyne regained control however and with Cormac Mullan showing great accuracy they pushed on to lead by 0-7 to 0-2.  Sarsfields hit back however and when Niall McKenna sent a high ball in around the Arodyne ‘square’ full forward Jim McMenamin got up above the Kickhams defence to fist the ball to the Ardoyne net to cut the gap back to four. Such a margin was never going to be enough considering the strength of the wind but before the break Ardoyne managed to boost their chances when Jim Og McAuley and Cormac Mullan added points to pull their team six clear at the short whistle.image1 (4)

Kevin McKernan led his team’s second half comeback and when he hit three points from play in as many minutes it was clear the six point cushion Ardoyne had created was never going to be enough. Tomas Doherty, McKernan and Darragh McGuinness soon had the Paddies level and that man McKernan soon had them in total control as he added two more fine scores from play

Ardoyne struggled to make much headway as Sarsfield’s moved into the lead with a brace of McKernan points. The centre forward was now untouchable and after adding three more excellent points he put the icing on the cake with a brilliantly taken goal to seal a semi-final place

SARSFIELD’S: M Brady; J Daniels, A Brady, M McPolin; D McGuinness, N McAlea, C Laverty; C Murray, N McKenna, D McKernan 0-1, K McKernan 1-11 (0-4fs), S Walsh; T Doherty 0-1, J McMenamin 1-0, G Lennon 0-1.

Subs: C Meryvn for McMenamin (42mins), C Glenholmes for McGuinness (49mins).

ARDOYNE: G Mailey; N Conwell, C Finnegan, A Stewart; D McCormick, G McFarlane, C Carter; G McKernan, J McNeill; P Lynch, K Lynch 1-0, A McNeill; C McNeill, J McAuley 0-1, C Mullan 0-8 (0-6fs).

Sub: SJ Rooney for Carter (48mins)

REFEREE: Paul McKeever (Portglenone)

 

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