AFTER a four month hiatus, Lucan Sarsfields will be looking for a huge performance on Thursday evening when they take on St Jude’s with a place in the knock-out phases of the senior hurling championship on the line.
Back in May, Lucan ran up a nine-point win over Crumlin to go with an opening day draw with Ballinteer St John’s, leaving them in second place in group four of the Dublin senior hurling championship.
Jude’s, however, lead the way following back-to-back wins while they sit four points clear at the top of the AHL division one standings with just two losses from their ten games.
It means Lucan are up against a serious opponent for a tie that they need to get a result from to guarantee progression to the quarter-finals of the competition.
To that end, Lucan manager Vincent Shanagher has called it “a huge game” and is well aware of what his side is coming up against when the sides meet in Parnell Park at 6.45pm.
Last month, the Tymon North club shaded a narrow 0-12 to 1-7 result in the league and Shanagher reckons that the championship will be similarly nip and tuck.
“They have walked the league and been doing very well so it’s a massive task. The winner tops the group so it will be real championship fare.
“We played them in Tymon four weeks ago, a tough game, and we lost by a couple of points. We were missing a couple with injury but there wasn’t much in it but we would hope to put in a similar performance; it was nip and tuck throughout and there would not be a whole lot between the sides.”
With four months between the second and third game in the championship group stage, Lucan’s panel has endured a number of injuries and were hit by a big blow last week when Robbie Lambert succumbed to a cruciate knee injury.
On the flip side, their intercounty contingent of Johnny McCaffrey, Peter Kelly, Sean McClelland and Chris Crummey have been back on the training paddock on a full-time basis for the past four weeks.
Crummey has a niggle that he will hope to shake off for the Jude’s tie and be ready to go all guns blazing.
“We have had a few injuries as the year has gone on alright, but the lads are going well, training well and the mood is good in the camp.”
Elsewhere, St Pat’s Palmerstown complete their group phases with a game against St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh on Saturday at 4pm in Blakestown, needing to avoid defeat to escape a relegation play-off series.