Larkin Cassidy IFC – Group 1
Glenravel 0-17 Sarsfields 0-10
This game started in blazing sunshine, ended in a torrential downpour of biblical proportions and in between the two teams served up twenty seven points, some of which were very high calibre indeed. Sarsfields would have been seeking revenge from the narrow defeat suffered in last years Intermediate Football Championship at the hands of the same opposition but it was the home team who emerged victorious in a seven point victory that perhaps didn’t fully reflect the battle that ensued. The two defences were on top for long periods and the slippery conditions played havoc with pin point accurate passing around the danger zones at both ends. That said there were some great long range points in both halves.
The visitors were first on the scoreboard after two minutes with a point from their influential midfielder Niall McKenna, however that was to be the last time in the game they held the lead. Eoin Hynds levelled from a free a minute later and we then had a cat and mouse affair for seven minutes with both defences well on top leaving the umpires almost redundant at each end. Eamon Fyfe found a way through on ten minutes and Aiden O’Donnell followed up four minutes later with a free to put Con Magees ahead 0-03 to 0-01. On sixteen minutes Rian Lennon sidestepped his marker and split the posts from forty yards with a superb score off the outside of his right boot, very reminiscent of the point Maurice Fitzgerald scored from the sideline in the All Ireland 2001quarter final to force a replay v Dublin. Sars replied through Kevin McKernan who had a great hour’s football and would end up with five points to his name.
After the water break the home team notched up three score in succession, one each from Eoin Hynds and Aiden O’Donnell and then a collector’s item from full back Conor Carey who found himself a long way from home when he pointed with six minutes of the half left. Sarsfields defence too got in on the act with two points from their half backs Nial McAlea and Conor Laverty. Between which Eamon Fyfe pointed so when referee Vincent Boyle called a halt to the first half Glenravel were leading 0-08 to 0-04.
Aiden O’Donnell stretched the home team lead immediately on the restart and when Eamon Fyfe put six points between the teams a minute later the storm clouds, were gathering around the visitors, physically and metaphorically. But when leadership was needed, up stepped McKernan with three great scores in succession with a solitary response from Aiden O’Donnell. When Joseph mac an Phaill pointed for Sars on nine minutes the Glensmen lead was down to three points 0-11 to 0-08 and the city supporters started to believe. Again there was a six minute spell of defensive dominance before Con Magees went on the rampage and picked off five unanswered scores in succession, Fyfe and Hynds being the guilty party with a wonder score from the educated left boot of Eoin Hynds rivalling Rian Lennon’s earlier point for score of the game. Leading by 0-16 to 0-08 with four minutes left the Heavens opened leaving the players barely visible in the deluge.
That wasn’t enough to stop Kevin McKernan though who battled through the elements to reduce the deficit to seven. Eoin Hynds restored the eight point lead before Niall McKenna tapped over a forty five for the final score of the game. It was Niall’s second point, his first coming over an hour earlier to open the scoring and put Sarsfields into the lead. A lot had happened in that hour and unfortunately for the visitors it was predominantly around their goalmouth. Thankfully, Vincent Boyle called for the ball after four minutes of injury time and the home supporters seemed oblivious to the rain as they rejoiced a victory 0-17 to 0-10. Sarsfield’s long journey home not helped I’m sure by the lack of changing facilities.
Glenravel:: Shaun O’Boyle, Jonathan Fyfe, Conor Carey Jnr (0-01), Charlie Henry, Cathal Hynds, Eoin McCusker, Darragh Donaghey, David Higgins, Conor Carey Snr, Eoin Hynds (0-05), Sean McKay, Aiden O’Donnell (0-04), Ryan Lennon (0-02), Eamon Fyfe (0-05), Aiden McCafferty,
Sarsfields:: Michael Brady, Ethan Mervyn, Martin McPolan, Jack Daniels, Declan Laverty, Niall McAlea, Connor Laverty, Joseph Mc an Phill, Niall McKenna, Thoms Skillen, Kevin McKernan, Seamus Walsh, Ryan Carson, Garry Lennon, Niall McDonald.