Photographs © Conor Greenan
A SECOND half Declan Carville Hattrick was the difference as Carrickcruppen defeated Sarsfields in their Senior Championship quarter final replay at the Morgan Athletic Grounds.
‘Cruppen will now face reigning county, Ulster and All-Ireland champions Crossmaglen in the semi-final next weekend.
Sarsfields started the stronger in this contest when Eamon McGeown put them in front after two minutes. Johnny Reynolds doubled the lead a minute later with a close-range free after Michael Stevenson was fouled.
Paul McGaughey replied for the men from the north with a fisted point after a surging run that began 50 yards out near the sideline. Michael Stevenson then added his side’s fourth point of the game with a perfectly executed left-footed effort under pressure.
McGaughey had a chance for goal when he went clear and one-on-one with the keeper put his drilled effort went over the bar, albeit an effort that never looked like it was meant for the net.
Straight from the resulting kick-out ‘Cruppen broke out and a few neat passes later, Conor Sloan found himself slotting over to reduce the deficit to three.
Stevenson then added a free for Sarsfields before the Camlough men added two of their own through Declan Monaghan and Carville. Sasfields responded with a mammoth Eimead Murray effort, however, Cruppen would register the next two scores before the break.
And those were to come from the boot of Carville – both free kicks. Carrickcruppen were probably the better side in the first 30 minutes but both performances were riddled with mistakes.
Michael Stevenson hit the first score of the second half through a free to give his side a two point advantage after he was fouled 30 yards from goal. Paul Keenan responded for ‘Cruppen before Stevenson pointed again from the deadball – again he himself won the free.
That was as good as it really got for Sarsfields as up stepped Declan Carville. In the space of 80 seconds he had bagged his first two goals of the game to side four to the good. The first came courtesy of a high ball in by Paul Keenan. the keeper couldn’t deal with the attentions of Carville who tapped the ball into the empty net as it fell kindly to him. The second was very similar in origin, nonetheless he was able to reach higher than the keeper to knock the high ball into the net.
By this stage ‘Cruppen tails were up and both Paul Keenan and Stephen Harold capitalised by knocking over a point a piece.
Carville hit his third goal when Mark Patton picked up a loose ball out of the back and slipped it to the man on a hattrick. Carville could have easily went for a point but he tried his luck at goal, hitting the bottom left corner leaving Sarsfields goalkeeper Darren McAvoy with no chance.
The game was effectively over when Eamonn McGeown tapped over a Sarsfields point and it was definitely over two and a half minutes later when ‘Cruppen added a fourth goal in the shape of Declan Monaghan. A simple goal assisted by corner-back Fiachra Bradley.
Monaghan added another shortly before Sarsfileds ended the contest with two points from Stevenson and Kieran Kerr.
The only negative from a ‘Cruppen point-of-view was the second-half sending off of James Loughran for a second bookable offence. (Pictured).
SCORERS: Carrickcruppen; D. Carville 3-4; D. Monaghan 1-2; p.Keenan 0-2; C.Sloan 0-1; S. Harold 0-1.
Sarsfields; M. Stevenson 0-5; P. McGaughey 0-2; E. McGeown 0-2; J. Reynolds 0-1; E. Murray 0-1, K. Kerr 0-1.