By David Cribbin
Newbridge rivals Sarsfields and Moorefield will have to do battle again after they played out a tension-filled draw in St.Conleths Park on Sunday afternoon.
Moorefield looked set to complete a historic three-in-a-row of Kildare senior championships but a point with the last kick of the game from Barry Coffey got Sarsfields out of jail.
Goals in the opening period from Mark McDermott and Eanna O’Connor had Moorefield six points ahead at one stage, but a stirring second half from their neighbours deservedly secured a draw.
It was a hectic start in the eighth meeting of Sarsfields and Moorefield in a county final as Ray Cahill kicked the Sash in front in the opening minute.
Moorefield replied with a point from Aaron Masterson before the three-in-a-row chasing side got a goal in the 4th minute when Mark Dempsey released a pass to Mark McDermott for the full forward to score under the body of Patrick O’Sullivan.
Sarsfields hit back with a score from distance by Barry Coffey but Moorefield still made all the early running with successive efforts from Eddie Heavey.
Alan Smith then got Sarsfields within three points but a second Moorefield goal had the champions clear when Heavey fed Eanna O’Connor to score.
That left Sarsfields trailing on a 2-3 to 0-3 scoreline after only ten minutes but scores from Ray Cahill and Ben McCormack kept them in touch while Declan McKenna also went close with a few attempts at goal with one flashing wide and Ian McDonnell saving the other.
The sides then exchanged scores with Moorefield points from Liam Callaghan and Eanna O’Connor being cancelled out by Coffey and Caoimhin McDonnell.
As a result, Moorefield led entering the end of the half on a 2-5 to 0-7 scoreline but scores from Cahill and Matty Byrne left Sarsfields within two points at the break but they could have even led as Alan Smith rifled a close in shot off the crossbar.
Moorefield despite introducing both Adam Tyrrell and Roli Sweeney were sluggish for much of the early part of the second half with two points from Ray Cahill levelling proceedings with one from play and one from a free.
Barry Coffey was running the show in a playmaker role for Davy Burke’s Sarsfields team and two brilliant points either side of a Tyrrell effort for Moorefield had the Sash 0-13 to 2-06 in front entering the final quarter.
Sweeney, who was aiming to land his 10th county medal with Moorefield, then went off with a serious looking injury after shipping a massive hit but it seemed to inspire his colleagues with consecutive O’Connor frees edging them into a one point lead.
A barren scoring spell soon followed with Coffey having a chance to kick Sarsfields level but his shot went just by the post.
Cahill with his sixth point did soon level the game but O’Connor at the start of stoppage time looked to have given Moorefield the win.
Sarsfields refused to die though with an exquisite attempt from near the sideline by Barry Coffey levelling up the game and forcing a replay.
Moorefield: Ian McDonnell; Liam Callaghan 0-1, Liam Healy, Mark Dempsey, Kevin Murnaghan, James Murray, Sean Healy, Aaron Masterson 0-1, David Whyte, Cian O’Connor, Eddie Heavey 0-2, Anthony Durney, Niall Hurley-Lynch, Mark McDermott 1-0, Eanna O’Connor 1-4 (0-3fs).
Subs: Adam Tyrrell 0-1 for Hurley Lynch 31 mins, Roli Sweeney for Durney 35 mins, Daryll Flynn for Sweeney 49 mins, Sean Dempsey for M.Dempsey 57 mins, Eamonn Callaghan for McDermott 58 mins.
Sarsfields: Paddy O’Sullivan, Shea Ryan, Sean Campbell, Tom Aspell, Con Kavanagh, Cian McConnell, Ciaran McEnerney Aspell Matty Byrne 0-1, Caoimhin McDonnell 0-1, Barry Coffey 0-5, Ben McCormack 0-1 (0-1 45), Conor Hartley, Declan McKenna, Ray Cahill 0-6 (0-3fs), Alan Smith 0-1.
Subs: Darragh Ryan for McConnell 17 mins, Brian McDonnell for McEnerney Aspell 54 mins, Cian Costigan for McKenna 57 mins, Shane Doyle for Cahill 60 mins.
Referee: Niall Colgan