Glenravel win due to strong second half

Antrim Football League – Division 2

Glenravel 2-13    Sarsfields 2-06

Whilst the thirty onfield players played their hearts out in this Division 2 league game, it is hard to underestimate the impact the strong breeze had on the final result. There wasn’t a breath of wind in the parish all day, but as throw in time approached, a gentle zephyr grew into a much stronger breeze blowing over Ballsallagh mountain and straight up Fr Maginn Park. Glenravel played with it in the second half and made much better use it in those thirty minutes to secure a seven point victory in the end.

The game opened with a very forgettable six minutes where both teams squandered scorable chances. Sarsfield’s impressive Garry Lennon got his team off the mark with a nice free and followed up with a goal one minute later. Tomas Skillen pointed on ten minutes and Lennon scored just before the water break to leave Sarsfields ahead 1-03 to no score for the home team. Glenravel’s mentors issued some words of wisdom during the break which settled their charges who went on to record the next three points, two from the boot of Eamon Fyfe and one from Sean Pól McKenna making a welcome return to Glenravel’s starting lineup. Cormac Murray was lording it in the middle of the park for The Paddies and he picked off a fine point on thirty minutes before Eamonn Fyfe got on the scoresheet again taking us to the short whistle with Sarsfields ahead 1-04 to 0-04.

Eamon Fyfe added a point on the resumption but two minutes later Cormac Murray tucked away a screamer of a goal and now the visitors were ahead by double scores on 2-04 to 0-05 score line. Incredibly though, they would only record two further points in the game on the twenty fourth and thirty first minute of the second half. As Sarsfields struggled playing into the wind their opponents were finding their range. From the fourth to the twenty fourth minute, Glenravel recorded 1-07 without reply to lead 2-12 to 2-04 with only six minutes remaining. In that purple patch Rian Lennon, Eamon Fyfe, Callum Higgins and Aiden O’Donnell all contributed for Con Magees and that surge was enough to kill off the Paddies challenge. County hurler Niall McKenna cut a forlorn looking figure as he toe tapped the ball in front of the Sarsfields dugouts. Oh how he and they wished he could have been the other side of the white line.

Young Micheal Ferris put some respectability on the scoreboard for The Paddies with five minutes left. Ferris, no stranger to Maginn Park having played at juvenile level for Con Magees, comes from Sarsfield’s GAA Royal Lineage being a grandson of the great Jimmy Ward. The game entered a tempestuous period in the final few minutes as referee Mark O’Neill, who had a good game overall, finally got to use his array of coloured cards but in truth the match was over as a contest. Eamon Fyfe and Garry Lennon exchanged points before O’Neill called time with Glenravel ahead by seven points on a winning score line of 2-13 to 2-06.

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