Lucan emerge U15 Division One champs
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S……………………..1-10
By Daire Walsh
LUCAN Sarsfields claimed the Under 15 Division One hurling title with a convincing play-off victory against Ballyboden St Enda’s at 12th Lock last Sunday afternoon.
Despite making a shaky start to the contest, Lucan gradually came to terms with the challenge of their formidable opponents.
Joseph Dunne was in sparkling form for the hosts, contributing an impressive personal haul of 0-8 over the course of the hour.
Conor Hylands and Liam Garrigan also bagged goals in each half to set Lucan on their way to a priceless triumph. Keelin Smith and Leon Kennedy flew the flag throughout for ‘Boden, amassing 1-9 of their side’s final total of 1-10 between them.
The two teams most recently met at Cherryfield on August 25 when Lucan recorded a comprehensive 2-15 to 0-11 success. However, at the end of their previous clash at 12th Lock in May, ‘Boden squeezed over the line with a single point to spare (4-10 to 2-15).
‘Boden were initially unfazed for their latest meeting and developed a three-point lead inside the opening five minutes.
Half-forward Scott O’Sullivan-Magne fired over a nice score at an acute angle, before the roving Kennedy converted a long-distance free.
Following a wayward puck out by Lucan netminder Cathal Doody, Smith registered his maiden point.
Having struggled to find their feet during the early exchanges, Sarsfields proceeded to dominate the remainder of the first-quarter. After Dunne settled their nerves, corner-forward David Mulqueen pointed from close-range.
They were beginning to create a familiar rhythm in attack and turned the tables on ‘Boden with an 11th-minute major. Possession was transferred into the path of Hylands, who rifled powerfully beyond the reach of rival custodian Eoin Mac Phaidin.
Momentum was now with Lucan and thanks to a Dunne brace, they were four points clear on 16 minutes. In addition to the increased pressure on their goalmouth, ‘Boden were now clocking up wides at the opposite end.
Yet, Kennedy’s driving run drew a foul from a retreating Lucan defence and Smith did the needful off the resulting free. Kennedy also split the posts from 50 metres to keep ‘Boden in touch.
Lucan’s attacking efficiency stood out in the opening period, though, as they failed to post a single wide on the stats sheet. Their accuracy was further underlined by Mulqueen and Finn Bruton points and while Kennedy responded for ‘Boden, Garrigan propelled Lucan into a 1-7 to 0-6 interval buffer.
Garrigan had been a livewire presence in midfield up to this juncture and he matched Hylands’ first-half strike with a stunning finish five minutes after the restart. Dunne swiftly added a free to give Lucan a potentially insurmountable eight-point advantage.
To their credit, ‘Boden worked their way back into the reckoning with a mini scoring blitz. Supplementing his own free moments earlier, Smith pulled to the net after a powerful Kennedy shot had been turned away.
This understandably kept Lucan on their toes and with Dunne and Kennedy trading points, an exciting final-quarter lay in store. Still, the Ballymakaily outfit had enough of a cushion at their disposal to be confident of seizing the day.
Dunne’s latest two-point salvo included his first from open play and Lucan were edging a step closer to the top-flight crown. The ever-dependable Kennedy kept things interesting moving into three minutes of stoppage-time, but Lucan were not to be denied.
Dunne found his range on the right-wing to place the outcome beyond all doubt.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS: C Doody; K Quinn, E Kilduff, L Farrell; J McSweeney, J Behan, M Cunningham; L Garrigan, R Daly; C Hylands, J Dunne, F Bruton; D Mulqueen, C Sheary, G Kennedy. Subs: J Smith for Quinn (h-t), R Fortune for Sheary (37), A Hickey for McSweeney (41), J Doyle for Farrell (45), C Mulqueen for Kennedy (48).
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: E Mac Phaidin; O Brophy, B McGuire, J Kennedy; M McSharry, D Daly, S O’Shea; J Farrington, R O’Reilly; S O’Sullivan-Magne, S Doyle, O Byrne; D Brooks, K Smith, L Kennedy. Subs: F Keating MacDermott for Doyle (37), S Pullan for J Kennedy (38), J Kennedy for Byrne (53), S Wall for Brooks (55), A O’Reilly for Brophy (57).