Sarsfields 2-10 Craughwell 0-14

Sarsfields captured their seventh Galway SHC title as they held off the challenge of a Craughwell side looking for their first crown since 1931 in this replay at Pearse Stadium.

Two goals in the opening half laid the foundation for Sarsfields’ first win since 1997 as the long wait goes on for a Craughwell side who were playing in their first final in 83 years.

Sarsfields led by 2-6 to 0-8 at half-time, striking for a second goal just before the break.

The sides were level six times in the drawn match and they were tied three times in the opening half at Pearse Stadium.

Craughwell made the better start with a couple of frees from Niall Healy and points from play by Jamie Ryan and Alan Callanan.

That helped them into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead before Niall Morrissey got his second free for Sarsfields.

Sars then struck a telling blow after 10 minutes when Joseph Cooney soloed through to dispatch an excellent goal.

Fergal Healy responded for Craughwell to tie the sides and then Kerril Wade and Jamie Ryan exchanged points to draw them level for the third time in the game.

Another point from Morrrissey after 20 minutes pushed Sarsfields in front and they never trailed again.

Two more pointed frees from Niall Healy cut the gap to the minimum but Noel Kelly struck a massive blow when he connected witho a Niall Quinn delivery to find the net and send Sarsfields in leading by 2-6 to 0-8 at the break.

Sarsfields only managed one point in the opening 25 minutes of the second-half with Sean Kelly extending their lead after 37 minutes.

Niall Healy landed three frees in a row for Craughwell and Alan Callanan’s point after 49 minutes left just one between them.

But Sean Kell, doubled Sarsfields’ lead with five minutes remaining and while Healy again responded for Craughwell, Morrissey got another for Sarsfields.

Healy again cut the gap to just a point in stoppage time but their hopes of forcing extra-time vanished when Kevin Cooney got his second point to seal the crown.

Sarsfields: C Dolan; K Hynes, D Skehill, E Cleary; C Murray, N Quinn, D Murray; R Quinn, I Fox; J Cooney (1-00), N Kelly (1-00), K Wade (0-01); I Skehill, A Ward, N Morrissey (0-06, 0-05 frees).

Subs: K Cooney (0-02) for D Murray (20 mins), S Kelly (0-01) 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 (0-01), S Hynes, Jamie Ryan (0-02); T Monaghan, A Callanan (0-02), N Healy (0-09, 0-08 frees).

Subs: A Greaney for N Callanan (40 mins), K Cullinane for Hynes (51 mins).

Referee: Shane Hynes (Liam Mellows)