Saints hold on for valuable win

ACFL Division 2

 Sarsfields 3.8 All Saints 4.10

All Saints travelled to the Bear Pit in need of another 2 points to keep pressure on the league leaders and to stay in the promotion mix in advance of the league split. They certainly didn’t get it all their own way against a Sarsfields side who battled all he way and it took a hat-trick from county player Paddy McAleer to get the Ballymena side over the line.

Sarsfields started the brighter and within 5 minutes had registered 1.1 on the scoreboard while the visitors had failed to raise a flag.

Sarsfields dominated the early midfield exchanges winning breaking ball and launching attacks to their dangerous no.14 who was causing the All Saints defence all sorts of trouble.

However, the visitors eventually settled through the in-form Brendan McDonnell who kept the scoreboard ticking with 3 pointed frees.

Sarsfields held a two point advantage going into the closing stages of the first half but All Saints then hit a purple match with goals coming from McAleer, McVeigh and McDonnell to put themselves in a strong position when they led 3-6 to 1-3 at the short whistle.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first with Sarsfields dominating the early exchanges as they tried to claw back the deficit.  Midway through the 2nd half they had cut the All Saints lead to 7 as Sarsfields registered a number of points and a further goal from no.14.

Sarsfields were making all the running at this stage and continued to eat into the visitors lead but a further goal for All Saints scored by that man McAleer again turned the Sarsfields tide. The home side kept battling away and registered their 3rd goal to further narrow the gap but All Saints held on for a 5 point victory to guarantee a top 6 finish as the league splits.

Sarsfields will be encouraged by the performance despite the defeat and it bodes well for the remainder of the season.

All Saints: Niall Shannon, Matty Downey, James McDonnell, Cormac Lemon, Joe Rafferty, Peter McNicholl, James Gillan, Emmet Killough, Shea O Brien, Shaun O Callaghan, Paddy McAleer (3.3), CIaran McGarry, Brendan McDonnell (0-6), Rory McVeigh (1-0), Eoin Campbell (0.2)

Subs:

Rhys O’Mullan for Peter McNicholl

Ciaran Campbell for Rory McVeigh

Diarmuid McNally for Brendan McDonnell

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