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Eire Og defeated Sarsfields in the AIB Leinster Club SFC at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Eire Og defeated Sarsfields in the AIB Leinster Club SFC at Netwatch Cullen Park.

AIB Leinster Club SFC: Eire Og defeat Sarsfields

AIB Leinster Club SFC Quarter-Final


By Ger McNally at Netwatch Cullen Park

A power packed second half for Carlow champions Éire Óg was enough to see them past Kildare side Sarsfieds in Netwatch Cullen Park.

The scores were level at half time following a tightly contested first half, but Sarsfields were held to just a single point in the second half as the experienced Éire Óg side took control of proceedings. 

Joe Murphy’s team started well and scored the first two points of the game through two Christopher Blake frees but after that, Sarsfields impressively found some momentum to score six points in a row. Caoimhghín McDonnell was dominating around the middle of the field, and kicked a couple of scores, as Sarsfields moved into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead. But Éire Óg hit back through Blake and Ross Dunphy before a key moment in the game. 

Éire Óg had brought a save from Sarsfields goalkeeper Paddy O’Sullivan in the first two minutes of the game when Blake was denied but when Jordan Morrissey was similarly sent through on goal in the 18th minute, he made no mistake in finding the bottom corner of the Sarsfields net.

Blake’s third point of the half put Éire Óg two ahead but it was Sarsfields who rounded out the scoring in the half through Barry Coffey and McDonnell to leave the scores at 1-5 to 0-8 at the break. 

The first five minutes of the second half proved crucial. Cormac Mullins (2) and Blake scored to give Éire Óg some breathing space on the scoreboard. Ray Cahill then scored Sarsfields’ only second half point from a 42nd minute free and then followed ten scoreless minutes.

There were chances at both ends during that spell, with both free takers missing opportunities, but when the scoreless streak was finally broke it was Darragh O’Brien who pushed Éire Óg three clear in the 52nd minute. 

From that moment on there was only going to be one winner and Morrissey and Sean Gannon quickly added scores. 

Niall Quinlan rounded off the win with a magnificent score from a sideline ball in the 58th minute, but in the aftermath of that score the Éire Óg substitute was shown a black card while Sarsfields captain and full back Sean Campbell was sent off after an altercation. 

Éire Óg were comfortable in seeing out the game after that and the old Leinster kingpins move confidently into the last four of this year’s competition.

Scorers for Éire Óg: C Blake 0-5 (4fs), J Morrissey 1-1, C Mullins 0-2, R Dunphy 0-1, N Quinlan 0-1 (s), S Gannon 0-1, D O'Brien 0-1.

Scorers for Sarsfields: C McDonnell 0-3 (2fs), B Coffey 0-2, A Smith 0-1, C Hartley 0-1, C Costigan 0-1, R Cahill 0-1 (f).

ÉIRE ÓG: Ricky Keating; Richie Mahon, Mark Fitzgerald, Brendan Kavanagh; Jordan Lowry, Mark Furey, Paul McElligott; Jordan Morrissey, Cormac Mullins; Seán Gannon, Darragh O'Brien, Eoghan Ruth; Christopher Blake, Ross Dunphy, Colm Hulton.

Subs: Derek Hayden for Hulton (41), Niall Quinlan for Mullins (50), Reece Denieffe for Quinlan (57, BC).

SARSFIELDS: Patrick O'Sullivan; Cian McConnell, Seán Campbell, Tom Aspell; Shea Ryan, Ciaran McInerney Aspell, Darragh Ryan; Con Kavanagh, Caoimhghín McDonnell; Cian Costigan, Decky McKenna, Conor Hartley; Barry Coffey, Ray Coffey, Alan Smith.

Subs: Shane Doyle for Smith (41), Brian McDonnell for McConnell (46), Karl Hartley for Cahill (52), Dave Shalvey for McKenna (56), Cian Byrne for Costigan (57).

REFEREE: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).

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