Goals prove decisive as Sarsfields beat Craughwell
New Inn-Bullaun club captured their first Galway senior hurling title since 1997
Sarsfields’ Ivan Kenny and Craughwell’s Adrian Cullinane in action during the Galway senior hurling championship final replay at Pearse Stadium, Galway. Photograph: Inpho
Two goals in the opening half proved decisive as Sarsfields, the first club to win successive All-Ireland club titles, captured their first Galway senior hurling title since 1997.
The New Inn-Bullaun club, the dominant force in Galway in the 1990s, secured their seventh title against a Craughwell side looking for their first since 1931.
This replay at Pearse Stadium was a much more entertaining game than the drawn encounter two weeks earlier when the sides were level six times.
They were tied three times in the opening half of this replay but Sarsfields struck for goals at crucial stages.
Craughwell were just a point adrift approaching the interval when they were hit with another major blow when a long free by Niall Quinn was finished to the net by an overhead strike by Noel Kelly to lead by 2-6 to 0-8 at the break.
Sarsfields were wasteful in the second-half and nine wides, many of them from good positions, ensured the game was never safe as they managed just one point in the opening 25 minutes of the second-half.
Craughwell were again largely dependent on the free-taking ability of Niall Healy and three from him and a fine effort from play by Alan Callanan left just a point between the sides with eleven minutes left.
Sub Kevin Cooney, a minor this year and brother of captain Joseph, landed a superb effort for Sarsfields.
Healy hit back with another point for Craughwell and repeated the feat when Niall Morrissey got a free, but the title was secured when Kevin Cooney hit his second point in the dying moments of a good contest.
SARSFIELDS: C Dolan; K Hynes, D Skehill, E Cleary; C Murray, N Quinn, D Murray; R Quinn, I Fox; J Cooney (1-0), N Kelly (1-0), K Wade (0-1); I Skehill, A Ward, N Morrissey (0-6, five frees).
Subs: K Cooney (0-2) for D Murray (20 mins), S Kelly (0-1) for N Kelly (35 mins), I Kelly for Ward (57 mins).
CRAUGHWELL: A Ryan; S Dolan, I Daniels, M Monaghan; John Ryan, A Cullinane, M Horan; N Callanan, G O’Halloran; F Healy (0-1), S Hynes, Jamie Ryan (0-2); T Monaghan, A Callanan (0-02), N Healy (0-9, eight frees).
Subs: A Greaney for N Callanan (40 mins), K Cullinane for Hynes (51 mins).
Referee: Shane Hynes (Liam Mellows)