Davis hold firm against Lucan

By Fergus Balfe

THOMAS DAVIS withstood a spirited second-half fightback from visitors Lucan Sarsfields to deservedly take the spoils in an exciting Under 16A Football Championship Group Three clash in Kiltipper on Saturday.

Davis, led by free-scoring half-forward Fionn Murray, opened up an 11-point lead before half-time, and despite the industrious Lucan side producing an impressive revival to reduce the deficit to a single point in the closing stages, the hosts held them off to seal the victory.

Thomas Davis V Lucan Sars 08

The influential Murray was involved from the start as he fed fellow half-forward Conor Jackson for an early score, before adding a well-struck 45 and another simple free, while half-forward Oisín Ryan replied to get Sarsfields off the mark.

The Tallaght outfit’s prolific opening continued as Jackson burst onto a loose ball to find himself one-on-one, firing into the bottom corner for the game’s first goal ten minutes in.

Both goalkeepers then made important saves as Lucan’s Alec Birnie denied Murray on the charge, before Davis’ Sean O’Reilly stopped midfielder Mark Gormley’s effort at the near post moments later.

Davis forwards Bryan Keogh and Sam Stewart exchanged excellent long-range scores with Ben O’Toole and the outstanding Colm Walsh for Lucan, before the homeside netted their second three-pointer, as Murray was fouled and stepped up to convert the resulting penalty himself.

Jackson and Murray combined once more to extend their side’s advantage to eleven, but Lucan’s comeback soon began when midfielder Walsh’s long-distance attempt dropped short, but was spilled, allowing corner forward Charlie Keher to tap in.

Birnie was then called into action once more, making a great diving save from Stewart as Thomas Davis looked to respond, before successive scores from the skilful Keher, Walsh and half-forward Evin Dowling trimmed the margin to five by the interval, 2-8 to 1-6.

Soon after play resumed, Lucan hit the net for the second time, as Ryan and Dowling linked up before a deflection helped take the latter’s goalward shot past O’Reilly.

The teams traded scores with the game in the balance, and both then struck the woodwork through Lucan’s Paul Tuite and Davis’s Derek Hogan, before a trio of scores from Walsh meant there was just one point between the sides inside the final ten minutes.

However, Thomas Davis rallied and notched a wonderful team goal, finished off by Keogh while a further couple of scores from Murray ensured his side began the Championship round-robin stage with a win.

THOMAS DAVIS: 3-13

LUCAN: 2-11

THOMAS DAVIS: S. O’Reilly, R. Smyth, D. Hogan, C. Burns, A. Murphy-Taylor, K. Mullarkey, A. Waddick, L. Dempsey, F. Murray, C. Cronin, C. Jackson, S. Stewart, B. Keogh, S. Byrne, J. Lydon, O. Horan, T. Grehan, K. McGill, A. Dalton, B. Rogers, J. Hanley.

LUCAN SARSFIELDS: A. Birnie, E. Power, D. Cahill, D. Lawlor, B. O’Toole, S. Casey, F. Breen, C. Walsh, M. Gormley, J. Rooney, O. Ryan, E. Dowling, O. Twamley, P. Tuite, C. Keher, T. Mullen, C. Duffy, A. O’Neill.

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