Sarsfields make a blistering start to U16 Championship
By Daire Walsh
LUCAN Sarsfields enjoyed a perfect start to their Dublin Under 16A Hurling Championship Group One campaign on Tuesday evening, comfortably overcoming the challenge of St Jude’s at Tymon Park.
Centre-forward Joseph Dunne delivered a tour-de-force for the victorious Sarsfields, accumulating a total of 10 points on the night, including seven from play.
Inside duo Charlie and David Mulqueen were also in flying form, amassing a combined tally of 2-7 during the course of the contest.
While Jude’s struggled on the night, the midfield combination of Cuan Manning and Adam Danaher did their utmost to stem the stide. In the end, they accounted for all but two points of the their side’s final haul.
Both teams had a long wait before receiving the greenlight for a return to competitive action and it was difficult to gauge exactly how each team was going to respond. Jude’s were hoping to make home advantage count, but it was Lucan who claim flying out of the traps.
This group narrowly lost out to Ballyboden St Enda’s in last year’s U15 league final and were eager to show they had pushed onto the next level. Corner-forward Conor Sheary got the ball rolling with an opening minute point and this was quickly supplemented by similar scores courtesy of Dunne and Charlie Mulqueen.
Following a quickfire brace from Dunne, David Mulqueen split the posts to move Lucan six points in front with just under seven minutes gone on the clock. Jude’s finally fired back through wing-forward Finnbar Wardick and Cuan Manning was also on hand to cancel out another Dunne single.
Yet it was Lucan who continued to be the dominant outfit in the opening period. Finn Bruton (two) and Dunne raised additional white flags, before Charlie Mulqueen bagged the maiden goal of the proceedings on 16 minutes.
Dunne continued to bolster his already impressive personal stats with three more points and David Mulqueen also found the range for a second time. Danaher and Sean McDonnell did get off the mark for Jude’s but with Bruton and Charlie Mulqueen doing likewise at the opposite end, Lucan held an unassailable 1-17 to 0-4 lead at the break.
It was becoming a damage limitation exercise for the Templeogue men and with forthcoming encounters against Castleknock and Naomh Barrog on the horizon, score difference could yet come into play. It was certainly an encouraging start to the second half for Jude’s as Manning dissected the uprights on the left-wing directly after the resumption.
Nevertheless, despite withdrawing a couple of players during the interval, Lucan maintained their grip on the tie. After Dunne converted a 60-metre free, centre-fielder Liam Garrigan got in on the scoring act with a long-distance point.
Jude’s suffered a further blow on 39 minutes when attacker Liam Kane was issued with a straight red card. In his absence, the hosts fought admirably without ever enjoying a sustained purple patch.
Another Dunne free followed on 42 minutes, preceding another fine effort for their counteparts from the ever-industrious Danaher. In a relatively low-key final quarter, David Mulqueen and substitute Darragh Lyons contributed additional points for Lucan.
With five minutes of normal time remaining David Mulqueen squeezed a firm strike beyond the reach of Jude’s netminder Conor Durkan for the second goal of the game. Charlie Mulqueen also posted another excellent point and while it was Manning who ultimately rounded off the scoring, it did little to dampen the spirits of the triumphant Lucan.
They will now welcome the aforementioned Barrog to 12th Lock on Saturday week (August 15) for the first of two home fixtures in the preliminary phase of the championship. Jude’s will be seeking to bounce from this reversal when they travel to Castleknock on the same day.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS: C Doody; R Fortune, E Kilduff, L Farrell; J McSweeney, J Behan, M Cunningham; L Garrigan, R Daly; C Hylands, J Dunne, F Bruton; C Sheary, D Mulqueen, C Mulqueen. Subs: G Kennedy for Bruton, A Duffy for Hylands (both h-t), D Lyons for Garrigan (42), C Kennedy for Dunne (50), Bruton for Behan (61).
ST JUDE’S: C Durkan; C Waters, P Fitzgerald, T Keegan; M Power, E Kenny, C Kiernan; C Manning, A Danaher; A McGennis, S McDonnell, F Wardick; S Scully, L Kane, D O’Dwyer. Subs: I O Casaide for McGennis (19), S Kirwan for Scully (30+1), C Gough for Wardick (h-t), Scully for O’Dwyer (46).