Lucan’s lovely Valentine

by Gazette Reporter
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AFTER a long winter of watching and waiting, Lucan Sarsfields Under-21 hurlers finally got to contest their county championship final, and it turns out it was worth the wait.
Anthony Nolan’s side faced Naomh Fionnbarra in the decider on Valentine’s Day and left with a present much better than a box of chocolates or a bouquet of roses.
Instead, a Dublin championship title was the only thing being squeezed tight at the 12th Lock on Sunday evening thanks to a 1-14 to 1-8 victory.
Sarsfields’ successful semi-final was way back in November but, due to delays on the other side of the draw, Finbar’s only progressed to the final last Monday night; finally the final could take place.
There was nothing romantic about the conditions; a couple of degrees in temperature meant a cold that was cutting throughout.
As throw-in came, so did the hailstones as Alfie Byrne Road was swept in cold ice, much to the displeasure of the encouraging Lucan support.
Fionnbarra had the better start, grabbing a couple of points before Sean McClelland settled things with a superb point from far right for Sars before quickly doubling his tally from a free.
A couple of wides from either side then followed before Paul Crummey reinstated some composure to the shooting with a sideline cut that split the posts.
Ciaran Dowling, who seemed to be omnipresent wherever the sliotar was, soon followed Crummy’s effort with a fantastic point of his own following a run from deep. That pushed Lucan into a three point lead at the break but by no means was it comfortable.
The Lucan lads were no doubt aware of the presence of Tom Ryan, Lucan’s new senior hurling manager and a handful will have definitely gave him something to think about for the upcoming season in that spirited first half and the second that followed.
Downing got the second half underway with Lucan with another score, having combined well with Donie Flannery on the right. Finbar’s pulled a few back before John Bellow put sunshine, well needed on the day it was, between the sides with a well taken goal.
No sooner had Bellew’s effort rustled the net however than the Northsiders goaled themselves with a fine effort that Dan O’Neill had no chance of saving.
The game then went through a bit of a lull. That was until Fionnbarra offered a slight fight-back with a couple of points late on.
Caomhan O’Chonghaile and Dowling replied with a couple each however before the whistle to leave the final score at 1-14 to 1-8 and leave Lucan with a county crown.

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