Lucan hurlers land Under 21 title

By Gavin Dalton

LUCAN Sarsfields are this year’s Dublin Under 21A Hurling champions after a bombardment of first half goals was enough to dethrone holders Na Fianna.

Three goals in the first ten minutes of the game paved the way for what was to be a major upset. Na Fianna, who have dominated this grade in recent years, had no answer to the tenacity Lucan brought to St Brigids GAA grounds on Tuesday evening.

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Lucan Sarsfields celebrate winning the Dublin Under 21A Hurling Championship title (Image: Eddie Lennon)

A fifth minute goal by Matthew Dunne following some bad defending by Na Fianna got the ball rolling for the underdogs.

Three minutes later the same player flicked the ball to the net following a good run by Ciaran Smith.

 Dublin senior Dónal Burke looked to pull his side back into the game with two points in quick succession to settle Na Fianna.

However a surging run through the centre by Lucan’s Cian McHugh set up Harry Ladd to convert his side’s third goal of the night, making it  3-2 to 0-3 and leaving Na Fianna with a mountain to climb.

A pointed free by Burke and a super score from distance by Aodhán Buggy brought it back to a six-point game by the 20th minute.

But well taken scores by Ciaran Dowling and Cian McHugh either side of a Dónal Burke free ensured Lucan remained in control of the game.

It was Burke who finished the half’s scoring after a moment of class which saw the attacker pluck a ball out of the air and convert the resulting free to make it 3-4 to 0-7 at the break.

Upon the games restart, Na Fianna pushed for a goal to get themselves back into contention, but there was no way past the Sarsfields defence.

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Lucan players celebrate

Instead sharpshooter Ben Coffey responded to this pressure with one of the points of the game on the 37th minute mark.

Try as they may, Na Fianna, who seemed to be second to the ball all night, could not work their way back  and fell further adrift when Harry Ladd goaled again after Ciaran Dowlings initial effort was saved.

Lucan finished the game strong, Ben Coffey’s free cementing the victory for them as the game finished up 4-10 to 1-9, Dónal Burke’s major from a 21 yard free at the death proving to be no more than a consolation goal.

Dave Aston’s final whistle in the 66th minute was met with scenes of jubilation for the Lucan ’ players and travelling supporters as they ended a five-year wait since their last triumph in this competition.

For Na Fianna, a total of seven wides from placed balls off the stick of both county men Séan Currie and Dónal Burke  proved costly—Currie receiving his marching orders in the 65th minute following his second yellow of the night.

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Ben Coffey in attack (Image Eddie Lennon)

Lucan Sarsfields: Cillian Murray, Daire Newcombe, Anthony McNulty, Paul Claffey, Colm Keenan, Alan Murphy, Colm Walsh, Rory Stapleton, Emmet Allen, Ben Coffey(0-7,0-5f), Cian McHugh(0-1),Ciaran Smith, Harry Ladd(2-0), Matthew Dunne(2-1), Ciaran Dowling(0-1)

Subs: Luke Walsh for Cian McHugh (42), Gavin Millea for Harry Ladd(58) Dylan Kelly for Matthew Dunne (63)

Na Fianna: Peter Mongey, Niall Hannon, Darragh McHugh, Neil Loftus, Paddy Skelly, Donal Ryan, Craig Berigan, Seafra Fitzgerald, Dónal Burke(1-7,1-5f), John Tierney, Peter Feeney, Eoin O’ Dea, David Lacey, Séan Currie(0-1), Aodhán Buggy(0-1).

Subs: Liam Stacey for Eoin O’ Dea (12), Cathal Cavery for David Lacey(42), Liam Graughan for Donal Ryan(58).

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