Lucan lose ground in promotion chase

by Stephen Findlater

LUCAN Sarsfields lost ground in their chase for a play-off place in AHL1 and were left to rue a tally of 19 wides last Saturday evening at the 12th Lock, allowing rivals O’Toole’s to move three points clear of them.

Indeed, five consecutive misses amid a 16-minute scoreless spell in the second half saw their narrow interval lead wiped out as Liam Ryan showed his power and Conor Carton tacked on the points for O’Toole’s.

For Kevin O’Reilly, his mixed afternoon had initially given Lucan the ascendancy with a sharp first-half goal, clipping 1-6 before the break.

But, with the wind at his side’s back in the second period, he could not find his range, while Conor McStay and Jodie Bastow put in sterling shifts in defence.

The visitors had shown their intent early on with Ger O’Meara’s monster score from over 70m out showing the strength of the breeze.

It helped build an early wedge, 0-4 to 0-1 to O’Toole’s, and were it not for a couple of good blocks on Carton and Ryan, it could have been worse.

O’Reilly, though, kept Lucan in the game with four points before nabbing the game’s only goal in the 20th minute.

John Byrne’s diagonal ball to the right corner looked to be well under control, but O’Reilly cleverly flipped the ball behind his marker, opening the space and he collected it unmarked before thrashing to the net.

It put Lucan in front for the first time and Gary Coleman’s point helped keep it that way into half-time.

The sides went point for point in the early stages of the second half, but O’Toole’s made the crucial incursion between the 46th and 56th minutes as they scored three points without reply as Lucan toiled.

Mick May’s low-fizzing effort did get his side within a point but two more late points from the visitors sealed the deal.

The move into second while Lucan remain fourth in the table, now four points adrift of leaders Ballyboden St Enda’s

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