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Sars kings of Kildare

SARSFIELDS made it a clean sweep of titles in Kildare when ending a seven-year famine in the championship, to add the senior crown to their league and Aldridge Cup successes, beating Carbury by 2-11 to 0-11.

IT WAS a testament to the man winning captain Pádraig Brennan dubbed "Mr Sarsfields". John Crofton took his time in taking charge of his club after his two-year stint as Kildare manager ended in 2007 but it has proved worth the wait for Sarsfields supporters.

It has been a tough period for the men from the south side of Newbridge, as they have had an unusually fallow period while their neighbours Moorefield embarked on a period of domination in the last decade.

Proud

"When you're playing with Sarsfields you want to win everything" said man of the match, Alan Smith. "We're a very proud club. It's the first time we've won it in seven years. Personally, I've lost the last three finals I played in. This is everything today."

Declan McKenna's 46th-minute goal was the turning point of this encounter, as Sarsfields were struggling at that juncture.

Brennan and Smith scored two points each to put them four clear after 13 minutes but Sarsfields were held scoreless for the remainder of the half, while Eoghan O'Flaherty kicked four frees to put Carbury 0-7 to 0-5 in front at the interval.

"We made hard work of that," conceded Smith. "In the league final as well, with ten minutes to go, the game was probably beyond us but there's great character in this team. We started off great, let Carbury back into it but the goal turned it for us. We kicked on with 1-3 on the trot and we're happy with that.

Damage

"I don't know what was going on. The first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half we weren't getting going at all. When the goal went in, that was the lift we needed. We started winning midfield again and once we started winning midfield again we had the forwards to do the damage."

It will be tough for Carbury to take having also lost last year's final. They missed two glorious goal opportunities in the first half and shot 11 wides to Sarsfields' three.

They still held the upper hand though until McKenna palmed Robbie Confrey's pass to the net, after substitute Caoimghín McDonnell had shown searing pace to set up the opportunity.

Gary White pointed from a free before Smith stretched the margin to four with two very well-taken scores.

David and McKenna exchanged scores before Conor Tiernan slotted a late penalty to confirm the result.

Sarsfields will now play away to either Offaly champions Rhode or St Patrick's of Louth on November 11.

"We never really looked at that," insists Smith. "The start of the year we talked about winning the county championship and that's what we done. We're going to enjoy tonight and enjoy tomorrow and assess the situation then maybe Wednesday or Thursday."


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