sarSFIELDS are presently suffering from the seven year itch. Yes, it has been seven long season since they last had their hands on the Dermot Bourke Cup and that took a replay before getting the better of St. Laurence’s on a score line of 1-11 to 0-9.
Roaring hot favourites to retain the title the Newbridge were on the verge of being at the end of a massive upset in the first game before Pádraig Brennan popped up with a late equaliser to send the game into extra time.
The drawn encounter was a nasty affair with two red cards and a clatter of yellows flashed by referee Mick Monaghan, the first red after just five minutes was show to Nigel Campbell of Sash while some 32 minutes late he was joined on the line by Eddie Kearney of St. Laurences; more than a few others could have counted themselves lucky to have finished in a game that really failed to get off the ground.
The Larries looked to be on their way out and if Sarsfields had converted their many chances it would have finished there and then but a late burst from the boys form the south, a goal from Ronnie Lawler saw them take a one point lead but then a controversial free, awarded for a Ronnie Lawler pick up saw substitute Pádraig Brennan bring the game to a replay on a score line of Sarsfields 0-11 St. Laurence’s 1-8.
This time around The Sash made no mistake at the second time of asking, never being headed once Pádraig had opened the scoring.
They led marginally at the break but killed off any faint hopes The Larries had when Ciarán Dempsey found the net to inflict the second county final defeat in a row on a St. Laurence’s side that at that time were still seeking their first ever title, something they finally put right when taking the title four years later.
The Sarsfields victory was built on an impressive defence led by 34-year-old full back and captain Martin (Ziggy) McIntyre who was also awarded the man of the match title.
Ziggy is a selector with the present 2012 Sarsfields team but had to relinquish that post when work commitments saw him move to Canada some six week ago but, not surprisingly, he will be back for Sunday’s game and no doubt on the line.
From the Sarsfields team that lined out against The Larries in 2005 replay, just four are expected to line out on Sunday. They are Gary White, Conor Duffy, Michael Browne and Pádraig Brennan, Alan Smith came on a sub in 2005.
Gavin Slicker; Gary White 0-2 (one 45), Martin McIntyre (cpt) Martin Dunne; Conor Duffy, Liam Sex, Niall Hedderman; Dermot Earley, Alan Barry; Michael Browne, Morgan O’Sullivan 0-1, Paddy Campbell; Pádraig Brennan 0-6 (4 frees), Ciarán Dempsey 1-1, Stuart McKenzie-Smith. Subs: Enda Freeney for Paddy Campbell; Alan Smith for McKenzie-Smith; David Earley 0-1 for Michael Browne.