ALL-IRELAND SENIOR ‘B’ FC SEMI-FINAL: ST NATHY’S BALLAGHADERREEN 1-11 LUCAN CBS 2-7
Brave Lucan denied at death by slenderest of margins
THERE was heartbreak for Lucan CBS last Saturday afternoon in Moate where they were cruelly denied a place in the All-Ireland Schools Senior Football ‘B’ Championship decider by a gritty St Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen side.
Following goals in each half by Matthew Dunne and Luke Walsh, Lucan looked set to progress to the upcoming final at Croke Park. Their Connacht opponents had other ideas, however, and a stoppage-time finish by Luke Hester helped them advance by the slenderest of margins (1-11 to 2-7).
This penultimate-round clash arrived at the end of a hectic period for the Lucan footballers. In addition to a county final triumph over St Joseph’s, Rush on March 16, CBS got the better of Gallen CS, Ferbane in a Leinster SF ‘B’ showpiece.
Eoin Dunne’s side registered eight goals over the course of these games, which placed the Nathy’s defence on high alert for this Paddy Drummond Cup encounter. With the notable exception of St Pat’s, Palmerstown corner-forwards Evan Walshe and Evan Dowling, CBS’ starting line-up was almost entirely comprised of players from the Lucan Sarsfields club.
Nathy’s were the dominant team in the first-quarter, as captain Kuba Callaghan (two), James O’Hara (two) and Oisin Phillips helped them to open up a four-point lead. Yet, Lucan are nothing if not resilient and a clinical Dunne goal cut their deficit to the bare minimum (0-6 to 1-2) in time for the break.
This was the catalyst for Lucan’s powerful start to the second half when they threatened to turn the game on its head. After they twice developed a slender advantage, Walsh’s 46th-minute goal moved them into the driving seat.
In spite of a three-point haul courtesy of O’Hara, Lucan remained in the ascendancy on the hour mark.
The never-say-attitude of Nathy’s ensured that their spot in the final wasn’t certain and Hester’s decisive goal brought Lucan’s memorable season to an agonising conclusion.