Aghagallon hold off late Sarsfields flurry

U-16 A Football Group 1

Aghagallon 2-10-3-03 Sarsfields

Kevin Herron reports from Pairc Na nGael

Aghagallon held off a late Sarsfields revival to claim top spot in U-16 Group 1 with a 2-10-3-03 win in the top of the table clash at Pairc Na nGael this morning.

Jonnathan Hannon opened the scoring through a converted free inside of 60-seconds and played a role in the opening goal in the immediate aftermath, shifting the ball inside to Ethan Lavery who picked his spot low in the net.

Sarsfields were frustrated in the early period and it took the Stewartstown Avenue side until the 10th minute to reply – a quick free from Daniel Smyth to Brian Healy yielded the initial response and better was follow just 60-seconds later.

Brendan Jackson released Keelan Gorman with a delightful pass down the channel, Gorman fancied his chances and burst through on goal- only to be denied by Gabhan Baine, though Sé Ferris was on hand to bundle the ball home from close range to level the scores at 1-01 apiece.

Aghagallon almost had a second goal from the next attack but Ethan Lavery dragged his low shot across the face of goal and inches wide.

The hosts did regain the lead however through a point from Eoin Maginnis, Sean Gowdy doubled his sides lead from the placed ball and Jonathan Hannon weaved his way through and split the posts to move his side 1-04-1-01 to the good.

Aghagallon finished the half on the front foot and three further scores courtesy of Ethan Lavery, Gowdy (free) and Callum Mulholland ensured that six-points separated the sides at the midway point in proceedings.

The opening scores of the second period fell to Aghagallon and both were converted frees from Sean Gowdy and Jonathan Hannon.

Sarsfields were enduring a frustrating period and were firmly on the back-foot and their cause wasn’t helped when corner-back Daniel Mulligan was black-carded for a cynical drag down.

Though the visitors were spared further misery as Aghagallon failed to convert from the spot.

A further point from Sean Gowdy was followed by a second goal on 53 minutes. Jonathan Hannon ran into the tackle but was able to shift the ball to Gareth Reavey who made no mistake and gave his side a 2-10-1-01 lead.

Sarsfields ended a scoreless period of almost 45 minutes as Brian Healy shot inches over the bar from a close-range free.

The Stewartstown outfit pulled back a consolation goal with two minutes remaining as Keelan Gorman’s low strike deceived the dive of the Aghagallon goalkeeper and found the corner of the net.

Brendan Jackson popped over a further point and on the stroke of full-time Brian Healy shot low to the net to make it 2-02 without reply and offer his side a glimmer of hope.

Time was Sarsfields enemy though and their fightback was too little too late as victory secured top-spot for Aghagallon and a place in the last four. They will be joined by the Paddies who will take some positives from their late revival.

Aghagallon: G Baine, E Magill, E Wilson, S Thomas, C Magill, C Maginnis, G Reavey (1-00), P Gowdy, J Hannon (0-03, 0-02f), C Mulholland (0-01), E Maginnis (0-01), E Lavery (1-01), K Gardiner, S Gowdy (0-04, 0-03f), E McCartan. Subs: J Hamill for E Maginnis (42), J McIntyre for K Gardiner (49), J McDonald for C Mulholland (53), A Crooks for S Thomas (54), C Maher for S Gowdy (56), N Gowdy for G Reavey (57).

Sarsfields: J Miskimmin, D Coleman, C Donnelly, D Mulligan, A McGarrigle, A Soda, S Hughes, P Murray, E McBriarty, D Smyth, S Ferris (1-00), K Gorman (1-00), B Jackson (0-01), O Coleman, B Healy (1-02, 0-01f).

Referee: Paddy Tumelty (Lámh Dhearg)

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