Sarsfields retain the Senior Hurling League 2018-12-18 08:00:00

Courtesy of Therese O’Callaghan via the Examiner

Sarsfields 0-15 - 1-10 St Finbarr’s

Sarsfields retained their RedFM Cork senior hurling league title at a windswept Páirc Uí Rinn last night following their battling two-point victory over St Finbarr’s.

The city side ran them close but Sarsfields eventually saw off their stern challenge to ensure they keep possession of the Conroy Cup.

The swirling wind made it difficult for both teams who were level six times throughout. They couldn’t be separated after the opening quarter, 0-3 apiece. James Sweeney, Brian Roche and Eoin O’Sullivan all finding the target for Sarsfields while Bill O’Connell, Eoin Finn and Conor Cahalane were the scorers for St Finbarr’s.

Then came the only goal of the game when O’Connell crashed the ball to the net in the 19th minute after connecting with Conor Cahalane’s superb sideline cut from out the field. Glenn O’Connor and Cian Darcy stroked over fine points for their respective sides and the gap remained at three points.

Sarsfields fought back to within one point with successive points from Daniel Kearney and Aaron Myers. But, when O’Connell fired over a placed ball right on the stroke of half-time, St Finbarr’s had their noses in front, 1-5 to 0-6. And the lead could have been greater only for some wayward shooting.

Points from Tadhg Óg Murphy and Hackett drew Sarsfields level after the break. The to-and-fro nature of the game continued and with 10 minutes of the second-half played the score was 1-7 to 0-10. Then Alan Kennedy pulled off a fine save from Damien Cahalane as the next two points went Sarsfields’ way — from Sweeney and Hackett.

St Finbarr’s were never too far away, an O’Connell free reducing the deficit, 0-12 to 1-8. Again Sarsfields answered back through Cormac Duggan and Sweeney. But, once more, St Finbarr’s kept the heat on Sarsfields through another fine point from Conor Cahalane, and an O’Connell placed ball.

Two minutes of normal time were remaining and Sarsfields were clinging on to a one-point advantage. With the 60 minutes up, Eoin O’Sullivan’s third point of the match stretched the lead to two – it came from a free following a foul on Daniel Kearney.

Despite another three minutes plus of additional time, they held on. Deep in the stoppage time referee Nathan Wall dismissed Sarsfields captain Eoin O’Sullivan for a foul on Cian Walsh.

Scorers for Sarsfields:

J Sweeney, E O’Sullivan (0-2 frees) ad L Hackett (0-3 each), D Kearney, D Roche, C Darcy, T Óg Murphy, C Duggan and A Myers (0-1 each).

Scorers for St Finbarr’s:

B O’Connell (1-5, 0-4 frees), C Cahalane (0-3), E Finn and G O’Connor (0-1 each).

SARSFIELDS:

A Kennedy; W Kearney, C Leahy, C Roche; K Crowley, P Leopold, G Grey; C O’Sullivan, D Kearney; D Roche, J Sweeney, C Darcy; L Hackett, E O’Sullivan (Capt), A Myers.

Subs:

T Óg Murphy for K Crowley (half-time), C Duggan for C Darcy (45).

ST FINBARR’S:

S Hurley; O Murphy, J Burns, C Walsh; G O’Connor, E Keane, J Goggin; C Barrett, C Cahalane; S Callanan, D Cahalane, E Finn; B O’Connell, R O’Mahony, B Beckett (Capt).

Subs:

I Lordan for B Beckett (half-time), C Keane for S Callanan (42), P Kelleher for O Murphy (51).

Referee:

Nathan Wall (Carrigaline).




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