Garda claim title in dramatic late raid

by Stephen Findlater

Dublin inter B c’ship
Garda1-9
Lucan Sarsfields0-10
 stephen findlater
sport@dublingazette.com

DENIS Ellard’s 55th minute penalty saw Garda snatch the Dublin B intermediate championship title in dramatic fashion, scoring the last 1-2 of their final battle with Lucan Sarsfields last Sunday in Parnell Park, their first championship title since 1986.
The tie looked to be getting away from the Westmanstown club and could have been out of sight had Declan O’Shaughnessy’s smashed effort gone just a few inches lower and under the bar rather than over.
That had Lucan three points to the good and showing like they had the impetus to win out. But Garda produced the move of the match to work the ball to Kenny Clinch at the left post.
His goal-bound shot was deemed to be foot-blocked as Lucan scrambled back and Ellard coolly stepped up from full-back to stroke home.
Richard Lynch’s free put Garda ahead for the first time in 30 minutes before Damian McGing added some extra insurance on the hour mark.
It left Lucan frustrated with a late collision in midfield drawing plenty of ire from their management team with the reaction leading to a red card to close out a rough end to the tie.
The first half proved nip and tuck with the sides level three times, ending at 0-5 each. James O’Neill was the focal point of the Lucan attack, scoring three classy points and was the regular target for diagonal balls from right to left.
John Byrne, meanwhile, was impressing at centre-back as Lucan overcame a shaky start. For Garda, frees from William Skelly and Lynch had them 0-5 to 0-3 up before Lucan held them scoreless for 20 minutes.
They were producing some lovely stuff during this time with Peter Carroll landing an exquisite score and O’Shaughnessy put two in the difference.
Lynch stopped the rot but three more points from John Bellew, Shane Quinn and O’Shaughnessy’s drive looked to have won the game for Lucan, only for Garda and Ellard’s strikes to deny them at the very last.

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