Lucan Sarsfields have a Dublin senior hurling championship semi-final to look forward after they beat Ballyboden St Enda’s

LUCAN Sarsfields manager Tom Ryan was delighted with the performance of his players after they held on to dump out old nemesis Ballyboden St Enda’s out of the Dublin senior hurling championship at O’Toole Park last weekend.
Bden went into the game as favourites as they currently sit top of the AHL Division 1 but their Division 2 opponents got off to a great start and progressed to the semi-finals after a final score line of 2-15 to 0-16.
“For us, it’s a big club to beat,” Ryan told GazetteSport. “There is great value in beating Ballyboden. You get great recognition from it but, more importantly, it should give the players a huge amount of confidence.
“We did well on the day. We set out our stall and everything went well early on in the game.”
Sarsfields enjoyed a strong start to the game before Ballyboden fought back to go into the break level.
“From playing division 2 hurling and going into championship matches, we weren’t too sure about the pace of the game. We tried to get up to speed as early as possible and had a brilliant start, which was great for us,” Ryan continued.
“They wiped out that lead in the first half but I think the good start gave us a great bit of confidence and that allowed us to stay in the game. We are doing well in championship matches so we are nearly at that level.”
Some big points from Sarsfields followed by CJ Smith’s goal in the second half gave them some breathing space once again, and this time it proved too much for Ballyboden to respond to.
“It was a great response from the players after half-time. Even before CJ got the goal, we got three great points. They were character [building] points. Then we got the goal and that really set us up and gave us a huge advantage heading into the last quarter of the game.”
Despite their impressive win, Ryan insists his players won’t lose the run of themselves as there is still plenty of work to do to get to where they want to be.
“These lads are very well grounded. We thought we would be top of the table in division 2 but we’re not after dropping a few points during the summer.
“We’re not the finished article by any means so we’ll work hard again for the next game.”
Kilmacud Crokes await in the semi-finals and Ryan knows another massive challenge is ahead of them. “Kilmacud will be strong favourites but we’re in with a shout of beating them.
You’re talking Ballyboden and Kilmacud, and then the winners of St Vincent’s and All-Ireland champions Cuala so [winning a championship] is far from an easy task.”

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