The game was very much in the balance with just a point between the teams going into the final four minutes but goals from Paddy Murray and Ger Naughton swung the game in favour of Moorefield.
Sarsfields though will feel very hard done by after it appeared they had scored an equalising point through Ronan Fitzgibbon with four minutes to play as goalkeeper Tom Kinsella appeared to fist the ball back into play from behind the crossbar. From there Moorefield built an attack that led to Murray’s goal and from there, there was no way back for the Sash.
The eventual winners were slow out of the blocks and were very much second best for the opening 30 minutes. Sarsfields though were left to rue some wayward shooting and even though they led 0-10 to 0-7 at the break, they could have been further ahead were it not for seven wides.
“I just told the lads at half time that they hadn’t stepped up to the plate like they had talked about in training and you could sense that the players knew that as well. That’s a good sense for a manager to get from his team,” said manager Luke Dempsey.
Dempsey certainly got the reaction he would have wanted and Paddy Murray and man of the match Adam Tyrrell kicked the first two points of the second half.
They missed a glorious opportunity to press home that advantage when Ronan Sweeney saw a 34th minute penalty saved by Paddy O’Sullivan, however. Sweeney put that to the back of his mind though and redoubled his efforts as he played a huge role in Moorefield turning the game around.
“I always remember Oisín McConville missing a penalty in the All-Ireland and him afterwards saying he wasn’t going to let that be what he was remembered for. Thankfully I was able to block that out of my mind and kick on from there and score a couple of points,” said Sweeney.
“Ronan is a phenomenal player,” said manager Dempsey. “He’s a great leader in the group. He was my man of the match for his sheer effort and work rate around the field,” he added.
Moorefield built a lead of three points going into the final 10 minutes but Sarsfields, bolstered by the experience of Dermot Earley and Padraig Brennan, came to within a point thanks to two superb efforts by Ray Cahill.
That all led to the game’s controversial moment when Fitzgibbon thought he had equalised but the Sarsfields protests were waved away and that was perhaps still on their minds when Moorefield moved the ball the length of the pitch where Murray spun and shot to the back to net.
Moorefield then rounded things off with a superb injury time goal from a move started and finished by full back Ger Naughton to send their supporters into raptures as they earned the all important local bragging rights.
MOOREFIELD: T Kinsella; L Murphy, G Naughton 1-0, P O’Flynn; L Callaghan, I Lonergan, J Lonergan; R Glavin, K Murnaghan; F Hanniffy, P Murray 1-2, A Tyrell 0-4; N Hurley-Lynch 0-2, R Sweeney 0-5, C Kelly 0-1.
Subs: A Mullins for Hanniffy h/t; C Lonergan for Murphy, 47; R Houlihan for Callaghan 49; P Wolfe for Kelly, 58; K O’Neill for Murnaghan 60.
SARSFIELDS: P O’Sullivan; S Hurley, D McDonnell, C Duffy; C Tiernan 0-1, S Campbell, B Coffey 0-1; D McKenna 0-2, A Smith 0-1; M Browne 0-1, R Cahill 0-6 (4fs), R Fitzgibbon; D Nea, R Confrey 0-1, S Dempsey.
Subs: C McInerney-Aspell for Hurley, 22; D Earley for Dempsey, 42; B McCormack for Browne, 47; P Brennan for Nea, 49
Referee: N. Colgan.