Sarsfields 4-17 Perth Shamrocks 0-10
The weather turned heavenly for the hotly contested championship semi-final clash between Sarsfields and Perth Shamrocks. A slight cross field breeze was blowing and a pleasant 18 degrees temperature, a perfect day for hurling had our lads buzzing when they arrived at the field. The lads, all sporting their new Sarsfields tops were well clued in from the start, a light hearted conversation about wrestling ensued in the puck around at the start. A lot of lads having great time for such wrestlers as The Rock and Stone Cold. A few of the older boys opting for Sean Michaels! Physio done, warm up done, and some words of encouragement from manager Eoin Guinan and selector Tomas Kenny, it was time to put words into action!
Sars got off to a cracking start, a sharp hand pass from Eoin Guinan found Ciaran Flannery who drive the ball over the bar from the midfield area. Sars were tacking on points through placed balls when 10mins into the game, Paul “I loves me county” Power cut through the Perth Shamrocks defence to bust the net. Sarsfield continued to turn the screw, The half forward line of Maurice Madden, Ciaran Flannery and Scutch Flannery were on top, winning the breaking ball challenge against a strong Shamrocks back line. The Full forward line was boosted pre game with the introduction of Club Vice Captain Jerry Callinan. Jerry was key to the damage done on the score line, his hand pass finding Eoin Guinan who hung the ball off the underside of the cross bar and into the Shamrocks net. Eoin added another goal shortly before half time to send the Sarsfields boys into half time on a scoreline of 3:8 to 0:6.
Things were going well for the lads heading into the second half, however the work rate was upped another 10% in the second half. Sars adopted somewhat of a sweeper system to counter act the Shamrocks attacking treat. Conor O’ Dwyer was instructed to sit deep to aid the defence giving midfield colleague Eoin Ryan free range to push up the pitch, a tactic that worked well for Sarsfields on the day. The game rolled on into the second half, Jerry Callinan adding another goal to add to the full forward lines tally for the day. An exceptional display of defending was something to behold on the day. Alan Lynham was like a Duracell Bunny at number 6, adding a monster point to a great defensive display. Work rate was absolutely top notch from all 6 backs. Great organisation and leadership from full Back Fergus Shortt and elder lemon wing back David Lonergan. Padraig Harding and Tom “The Gom” Gorman fought like dogs for every ball, the two boys finishing the game with a surplus of blood on arms and legs. The big Killkenny man Andy Brennan had a solid driving performance from wing back. Paul Guinan was as solid as ever in his new home between the sticks, his distribution on the day was top class, also adding 2 long range free in the 1st half.
Sars began to pull away into the last 10 minutes of play, 2 points from Coolderry man Eoin Ryan put the icing on the cake for the lads. Another point to note was the delicious Joe Canning esk hand pass from Ciaran Flannery to Andy Brennan. Unfortunately the ball not landing over the bar. With legs starting to wither slightly, the subs bench was reeled off. Jamie O Keeffe and Seanie “Lee Chin” Dunne entered the fray and brought great freshness to the forward line. Michael Raher also entered the pitch and nearly got his name on the score sheet only to be ruled out for a square ball. Young Raher deciding a trip to Bali for some rest and relaxion would be sure to have him in flying form for next week’s Championship Final. A great team performance from the Sars lads, a mamouth game is now in store next Saturday against Western Swans, a game that will not leave the fans down!
Team and scoreres:
Paul Guinan(0-2), Padraig Harding, Fergus Shortt, Tom Gorman, Andy Brennan, Alan Lynham(0-1), David Lonergan, Eoin Ryan(0-2), Conor O’Dwyer, Maurice Madden, Ciaran Flannery(0-1), Stephen Flannery, Paul Power(1-1), Eoin Guinan(2-10), Jerry Callinan(1-0).
Subs: Jamie O’Keeffe, Seanie Dunne, Micheal Raher