SHC Round 3

Sarsfields 0-17 Pearses 0-15: Two late Niall Morrissey frees seen Sarsfields pull through in this game played at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe yesterday. Sarsfields controlled the first half and led 0-10 to 0-6 at the break, but despite the loss of Cyril Donnellan to injury not long after half-time Pearses pulled themselves back into the game and had drawn level with five minutes to go. Sarsfields managed to break that momentum and land the crucial late scores.
Morrissey, who would finish with 0-13, missed just one placed ball in the course of the game and it was he who had the first three points on the board. After a couple of wides, Pearses got off the mark with a Tomás Flannery point from play in the sixth minute. Ronan Bellew pointed from a free shortly afterwards. At the end of the first quarter Sarsfields led 0-5 to 0-3, Morrissey with all of the Sarsfields scores.
The score of the first half arrived on the 19th minute when Joseph Cooney superbly fielded a puckout before sending it over Fearghal Flannery’s crossbar at the scoreboard end. Bellew struck back with a free and with the score at 0-8 to 0-4 in the 23rd minute Cyril Donnellan cut in from the right wing going close for goal, the ball flying just wide of Kieran Dolan’s net. Morrissey kept Pearses at arms length, hitting a couple of long range frees either side of Bellew and Flannery points. Half-time: 0-10 to 0-6.
Kerrill Hardiman opened the scoring in the second half with a point from a tight angle, cutting the gap to three. Pearses were dealt a blow when Donnellan had to retire with a leg injury, replaced by Cormac Ward. To Pearses credit they did not wilt and took the fight to Sarsfields. In the next five minutes Pearses outscored the New Inn/Bullaun men 0-3 to 0-1 – Bellew (free), Colm Raftery and Cormac Ward with points. Morrissey continued his accuracy with two more frees to make it 0-13 to 0-11 at the three-quarter mark.
Flannery exchanged points from play with Joseph Cooney and Kerrill Wade, before Pearses hit a purple patch. Ronan Bellew and Emmet Ward points put just one between the sides with eight minutes left. Ward shot narrowly wide before Bellew levelled the game, with five minutes to go. The game was poised for a big finish, but Sarsfields managed to break the Pearses momentum.
Joseph Cooney broke through for a goal chance at the town end, but was well bottled up by the Pearses defence. From the follow up play Sarsfields won a close-in free which Morrissey converted. The game ticked into injury time and Sarsfields slowed the game down. Morrissey would complete his haul for the day, with his final free to leave the final score 0-17 to 0-15.
Next up for Pearses is Gort, before the final Group game against Turloughmore. Gort and Turloughmore currently top the table after three rounds and wins are needed against both to allow any chance for progression to the knockout stages.
Pearses: F Flannery; B Egan, K Donnellan, R O’Neill; J Gelston, S Raftery, K Hardiman (0-1); C Fahy, S Hardiman; E Ward (0-1), C Raftery (0-1), C Donnellan; T Flannery (0-3), R Bellew (0-8), L Murphy. Subs used: C Ward (0-1), G Lally.
Sarsfields Scorers: N Morrissey (0-13), J Cooney (0-2), K Wade (0-1), K Cooney (0-1).
Referee: Peter Murphy (Loughrea).
Report: David Cunniffe