Clarke’s late goal proves a winner for Sarsfield’s

                              U-20B Football Championship semi-final

Casement’s Portglenone 0-13 Patrick Sarsfield’s 1-11 (aet)

A 52nd minute goal from Sean Clarke was to prove the difference as a hard working Sarsfield’s gained the verdict over Casement’s in a well contested U-20B championship semi-final in Portglenone on Sunday.

With his side trailing by three as the game entered the final stages, Jonathan McKenna collected the ball back on his own 13 metre line and his delivery to Michael Johnston was forwarded to Clarke in the corner who applied the finish.

At this stage the home side looked very much in the ascendancy but Sarsfield’s were not yet finished and with the impressive Jonathan McKenna, Anthony McGarrigle, Michael  Johnston and the pace laden Ahmad Soda leading by example they set about reigning in the opposition

Clarke’s searching delivery into the danger area was claimed by a defender but the impetus took him over the line and the visitors were level at   1-06 to 0-09.

Little separated the sides in the opening period and after Aiden McAleese pointed the ‘Ports’ ahead in the 2nd minute, the West Belfast side were quick to reply and a couple of points from Donal Smith and another from Daniel Mc Menamin saw them 0-03 to 0-01 ahead at the end of the opening quarter.

As the game continued it was Casement’s who finished the opening period on top and late points from Sean Byrne and Aiden Mc Aleese saw the sides level at 0-4 to 0-4 at half time.

The home side got on top at the start of the second half as they dominated the vital central zone and they moved two in front through Charlie and Aiden McAleese after two minutes.

The Paddies were still probing for openings and indeed Lady Luck was to smile on the Bannsider’s twice in a couple of minutes as their net minder was quick of his line to deny Rory Mc Shane in the 36th minute before Daniel Smith’s goal bound effort rebounded of the crossbar.

Casement’s responded to this let-off and unanswered points from Ciaran Mc Aleese and an excellent Ruairi Hagen effort saw them gain a 0-09 to 0-06 advantage as the clock ticked down.

Sarsfields looked in trouble but the introduction of Sean Clarke was to prove a positive step.

The late replacement was quick to settle to the task in hand and when he was sent clear on the right hand side following a Jonathan Mc Kenna inspired counter attack his probing shot was carried over the line by a defender and the sides were level.

Both sides battled for a late winner but despite their efforts they could not be separated and at the end of the allotted sixty minutes extra time was ordered.

It was nip and tuck throughout extra time but in the event it was the visitors who edged the exchanges and points from Ruairi Devlin, Caolan O’ Donnell, and the goal scorer Sean Clarke in response to similar scores from Ciaran Mc Aleese and Oliver Keenan saw Sarsfield’s emerge as winners by the narrowest of margins

Casement’s: Rory O’ Hagen, Michael Mc Garry, Kevin O’ Kane, James Lennon, Fintan O’ Connell, Ruairi Mc Guigan, Conal Mc Atamney, Ruairi O’ Hagan (0-02),Donal Mc Nicholl, Oliver Keenan (0-01),Aiden Mc Aleese (0-04), Paddy Mc Cann (0-01), Sean Byrne (0-02), Charlie Mc Aleese (0-01), Ciaran Mc Aleese (0-02)

Sub: Pat Murray for C Mc Aleese

Sarsfield’s: Jonathan Rogers, Darragh Coleman, Jonathan Mc Kenna, Ahmad Soda, Anthony Mc Garrigle, Liam Mitchell, Ruairi Devlin (0-01), Michael Johnston, Joe Mc Nally, Donal Smith (0-03), Daire Mc Menamin (0-01), Stephen Hughes, Ruairi Mc Shane, Pat Mc Shane (0-02), Caolan O’ Donnell

Sub: Sean Clarke 1-02

Referee: Darren McKeown (St. Gall’s)

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