LUCAN & JUDES SHARE THE SPOILS IN AHL DIVISION 1
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LUCAN SARSFIELDS 2-14
ST JUDE’S 2-14
By Daire Walsh
Ben Coffey converted a free on the stroke of full-time to give Lucan Sarsfields a share of the spoils with St Jude’s in an enthralling Adult Hurling League Division One clash at 12th Lock on Wednesday evening.
Lucan had been on the brink of their maiden victory in this year’s top-flight when they led by nine points (2-12 to 0-9) inside the final-quarter. However, the twin attacking force of Fionn O Riain Broin and Diarmuid McLoughlin subsequently galvanised the Jude’s challenge.
They produced a stunning scoring blitz to edge in front late on – before Coffey came to the rescue of the hosts with a cooly-struck effort into the breeze. While many of their defeats were narrow in nature, Lucan were searching for their first point of the term when they welcomed the Templeogue men to the Newcastle Road.
It has been a mixed campaign to date for Jude’s, but they did secure a morale-boosting triumph against Ballinteer St John’s on home soil last Saturday week (May 18). Patience was required during the early exchanges of the contest as Lucan began with a strong wind at their disposal.
After Paul Crummey got them up and running with an impressive point, midfielder Ronan Smith added to their lead. Crummey was a lively presence on the Lucan inside line and he combined superbly with Donal Flannery to set up Anthony McNulty for a fourth-minute goal.
Jude’s finally opened their account through the lively O Riain Broin – a pointed free following a foul on John Carthy – before a rampant Lucan stretched further in front. Centre-forward Ciaran Dowling found the target either side of Crummey’s second and Coffey’s first free of the night ensured they moved eight points clear.
Even though the dependable O Riain Broin increased his personal tally, Lucan’s defensive lynchpin Matt McCaffrey superbly split the posts from long-distance to re-establish their dominance. Each time Jude’s threatened to eat into their deficit, the hosts responded in emphatic style.
O Riain Broin (two) and Carthy split the posts for the visitors – in advance of similar strikes for Lucan courtesy of Dowling, wing-back Gavin Millea and Coffey (free). Jude’s netminder Stephen Larkin looked set to give his side a reprieve when he pulled off an outstanding double-save from Coffey and McNulty.
Lucan persevered, though, and Coffey rounded off this latest attack with a close-range finish to the net. Despite this additional set-back, Jude’s managed to end the opening period on a high.
O Riain Broin fired over three points without reply, leaving the Wellington Lane outfit 2-10 to 0-8 adrift on the restart. An encouraging end to the first half – and the strength of the elements – meant a stirring Jude’s comeback couldn’t be ruled out.
Kevin Treacy was introduced for Colm O’Callaghan when the action resumed and centre-back Mark Maguire consequently switched to the forward line. Whilst he was short of the mark with a brace of placed-ball attempts, O Riain Broin’s eighth point of the tie helped Jude’s to retain their momentum.
Scores were certainly harder to come by for Lucan and they had to wait until the 42nd-minute (another Smith single) to bolster their haul. Flannery released Coffey for his latest point five minutes, but this preceded the first extended Jude’s surge on the Lucan goal.
Latching onto a pin-point Donie Fox delivery, McLoughlin fired beyond the reach of Sarsfields custodian Dan O’Neill. O Riain Broin and substitute Conor Nolan quickly supplemented this major with unanswered points, dramatically reducing the gap to a mere four points (2-12 to 1-11).
Lucan looked to restore calm when former All Star Peter Kelly raised a white flag with a superbly-measured effort on half-way. Yet Jude’s were beginning to play with real confidence and turned the game on its head in lightning quick fashion.
McLoughlin claimed a point on the turn and then bagged his second goal when his speculative shot slipped through the grasp of O’Neill. With their tails now up, O Riain Broin and McLoughlin did the needful to edge Jude’s into the ascendancy for the first time on 58 minutes.
Their lead was short-lived, however, as Lucan were awarded a scoreable free on the hour mark. An off-the-ball incident led to the dismissal of Jude’s corner-back Ciaran Hogan and a composed Coffey held firm under severe pressure.
Having moved a point ahead of basement side Crumlin, Lucan will next face Kilmacud Crokes at Silver Park on June 16. On the same morning, Jude’s will entertain the high-flying Cuala.
Scorers – Lucan Sarsfields: Ben Coffey 1-4 (0-3f), Anthony McNulty 1-0, Ciaran Dowling 0-3, Ronan Smith, Paul Crummey 0-2 each, Peter Kelly, Matt McCaffrey, Gavin Millea 0-1 each. St Jude’s: Fionn O Riain Broin 0-10 (8f, 1 ’65’), Diarmuid McLoughlin 2-2, John Carthy, Conor Nolan 0-1 each.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS: Dan O’Neill; Paul Rigney, John Bellew, Philip Smith; Peter Kelly, Matt McCaffrey, Gavin Millea; Ronan Smith, Robert Ward; Eoin O Conghaile, Ciaran Dowling, Ben Coffey; Donal Flannery, Anthony McNulty, Paul Crummey. Subs: Sean McClelland for Ward (56), Rory Stapleton for O Conghaile (58).
ST JUDE’S: Stephen Larkin; Ciaran Hogan, Manus Malone, Ciaran Mangan; Alan O’Beirn, Mark Maguire, Dave Kiernan; Tom Devlin, John Carthy; Paul Maguire, Donie Fox, Diarmuid McLoughlin; Colm O’Callaghan, Leo Sexton, Fionn O Riain Broin. Subs: Kevin Treacy for O’Callaghan (half-time), Conor Nolan for Devlin (50).
Referee: Mark Ryan (St Patrick’s, Palmerstown).