O’Boyle strikes late to deny Paddies comeback victory

Andersonstown SC Intermediate Hurling Championship Group 1 

Sarsfields 1-25-4-16 Oisin’s Glenariff

Kevin Herron reports from the Bear Pit 

Michael O’Boyle saved Oisins blushes at the Bear Pit on Wednesday evening after Sarsfields overturned a seven-point deficit at the break in this thrilling 1-25-4-16 draw. 

A double from David Kearney and further goals from Seamus McDonnell and Caolan O’Connor had given the visitors a 4-09-1-11 lead at the midway point. 

However, Sarsfields slowly clawed their way back into the game and levelled late-on before Kevin McKernan looked to have steered them to victory. 

It wasn’t to be though as O’Boyle salvaged a draw for Oisins with the final play to ensure that the sides would leave with the share of the spoils in an entertaining Group 1 clash. 

Oisin’s hit the front from their first attack through a Seamus McDonnell point, though Kevin McKernan executed a side-line cut between the posts in response. 

The opening goal arrived after four minutes when a high ball landed in the square and McDonnell rifled low to the Sarsfields net to give his side a 1-01-0-01 lead. 

Niall McKenna and Alex O’Boyle (free) traded scores and the duo then landed terrific efforts from range in shortly after. 

Sarsfields closed the deficit to a single point after Daniel McKernan floated an angled shot between the posts and Niall McKenna notched up his third point of the half. 

A converted Alex O’Boyle free brought his personal tally to 0-03 but his side fell behind approaching the quarter-hour mark. 

A free from Niall McKenna dropped short of the target but Ryan Carson flicked the loose ball to the net to give the Paddies a 1-05-1-04 advantage. 

McKenna extended the lead after picking up the loose ball and swinging a high effort between the posts. 

Though Oisin’s restored parity thanks to an angled effort that spun between the posts from Seamus McDonnell and a third free from Alex O’Boyle.

Sarsfields edged in front again when Kevin McKernan dropped a ball on top of Niall McKenna to float a shot accurately over the bar. 

On 18 minutes the lead changed hands again and Oisin’s would stay in control for majority of the evening. 

The visitors hit the front for the third time in the half courtesy of a low David Kearney strike that squeezed into the net to make it 2-06-1-07. 

In response Donal Moran landed a fantastic point from range, however that was brief rest bite as Glenariff found a second goal in as many minutes and their third inside of twenty minutes. 

Naoise Ó Faoláin did well to keep the initial effort from Seamus McDonnell at bay but could do nothing to prevent Caolan O’Connor sweeping the rebound home from close range to give his side a 3-06-1-08 lead. 

Caolan O’Connor fires home Oisin’s third goal

Points were traded in the aftermath between Niall McKenna and Alex O’Boyle before Sarsfields talisman McKenna converted his first free of the evening. 

Six-minutes before the break a fourth goal increased Glenariff’s advantage, it was a second goal of the game for David Kearney after previous goal scorer O’Connor slipped the ball through on the overlap and Kearney fizzed a low effort to the net to make it 4-07-1-10. 

Further points from Alex O’Boyle (free) and Caolan O’Connor extended the visitors increasing lead with Donal Moran producing another effort from range that dropped between the posts to ensure the Paddies ended the half with a point but were 4-09-1-11 in arrears and had work to do in order to salvage anything from proceedings. 

Back-to-back Alex O’Boyle points at the beginning of the second half extended his sides lead, the first coming from his fifth placed ball and a third score from play would follow. 

In response Niall McKenna dropped a free over the bar to get the Paddies up and running – but they were unable to make further inroads and as the respective free-takers traded further placed-balls. 

Sarsfields had clocked up three scores on the spin with McKenna taking a fine pass from Ryan Carson and guiding the ball between the posts and Kevin McKernan landing a shot over from range to reduce arrears to six (4-12-1-15). 

For the eighth time in the evening talisman O’Boyle and McKenna cancelled each-other out from frees. 

Oisins inched further clear when Donal Kearney delivered the ball up the channel and substitute Paul McDonnell floated a shot between the posts. 

Momentum was slowly shifting as the Paddies landed five scores unanswered, Niall McKenna brought his free tally to five to with another two placed balls in-between a fine Kevin McKernan effort. 

Half-time substitute Darragh McGuiness made his presence felt and Daniel McKernan squeezed a high angled effort inside the posts to make it a two-point game (4-14-1-21) with little under ten minutes remaining. 

Alex O’Boyle briefly halted the comeback, converting his eighth free of the contest- although Sarsfields soon picked up where they left off. 

Anthony McGarrigle picked out Enda McCartan on the overlap and he directed a high shot over the bar.  

The bare minimum separated the sides when Kevin McKernan sent an effort over the bar from range for his fourth point and with a minute to go the hosts tied things up. 

McKernan found the run of brother Daniel who flighted his shot between the posts to make it 1-24-4-15. 

The home side sensed victory was within the taking and they hit the front in time added on with Kevin McKernan doing enough to steer his shot over the bar. 

Oisins were now the side under pressure but continued to advance into the hosts attacking third courtesy of winning a few side-line balls. 

Eventually their opportunity to restore parity came and Michael O’Boyle seized it- landing the late pressure shot- which would prove to be the final act of the evening to secure a 1-25-4-16 draw as both sides left content with a point a piece in the end. 

Sarsfields: N Ó Faoláin, D Johnston, J Cunningham, M McCavanagh, N Ó Maoláin, E Rodgers, D Moran (0-02), E McCartan (0-01), K McKernan (0-05, 0-01f), A McGarrigle, D McKernan (0-03), R Carson (1-00), D McKernan snr, N McKenna (0-13, 0-05f), C McKernan. Subs: B Jackson for N Ó Faoláin (HT), D McGuinness (0-01) for D McKernan snr (HT), M Johnston for M McCavanagh (HT). 

Oisins: P McMullan, M Haughey, N Murray, Daniel Kearney, Donal Kearney, CR Patterson, M Gettens, O Kearney, S McIntosh, A O’Boyle (0-11, 0-08f), D Kearney (2-00), O Gillan, M O’Boyle (0-01), S McDonnell (1-02), C O’Connor (1-01). Subs: P McDonnell (0-01) for O Gillan (40), D McKillop for S McIntosh (49), A Cosgrove for O Kearney (55). 

Referee: Kevin Parke (Naomh Éanna)

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