Lucan Sarsfields 2-15 Craobh Chiaráin 1-10
A BLISTERING opening 20 minutes from Lucan ensured a comfortable victory over last year’s beaten finalists, Craobh Chiaráin, at 12th Lock, in the opening round of the Evening Herald Dublin SHC ‘A’ group stage.
Craobh never got going and they can have no complaints as they were simply blown away by the fast and physical approach of the Lucan Sarsfields team. The winners’ half-forward line in particular were extremely impressive as Tommy Somers and the two Peters, Kelly and Carroll, were a constant threat and tallied 1-9 between them.
Lucan tore into their opponents from the off and opened an 11-point lead inside the opening 20 minutes. Two points from Kelly set the ball rolling, the first came as a result of a 60-metre run by wing-back Mick Maye.
Maye was tireless throughout, and he did a perfect marking job on Alan McCrabbe, keeping the All-Star scoreless from play for the entire game.
Midfielder Stephen McDonald got Craobh off the mark after three minutes. Indeed, McDonald was the one shining light for the Donnycarney men in the opening period and when he had to withdraw with a hamstring complaint before the break, an unlikely comeback was out of the question.
Despite their obvious dominance, the opening Lucan goal was somewhat fortunate. Gary Coleman’s huge free from well inside his own half deceived everyone and ran kindly for Paddy Brennan. Brennan made no mistake as he fired low past Stephen Chester after eight minutes. Further points from Somers, Coleman and John McCaffrey stretched their advantage.
Craobh enjoyed a mini revival before half-time as they scored three unanswered points. A McCrabbe free was sandwiched between scores from Philip Purtell and David Keane. But the damage was already done as Lucan enjoyed a 1-12 to 0-6 half-time advantage.
Although never reaching the heights of the first half, Sarsfields were efficient enough to ensure their opponents never got close enough to cause them significant worries.
McCrabbe and Darren Kelly split the posts immediately after the restart but then came the finishing blow in the shape of Lucan’s second goal. The powerful Kelly went on a mazy run and beat two challenges before crashing a shot to the net from 25 metres. Somers quickly followed this up with another free to restore their nine-point lead.
To their credit, Craobh battled to the end but the Lucan defence was in miserly form with Cronan Dooley and Peter Callaghan in outstanding form. There was some consolation however, as Kevin Warren flicked in a dropping McCrabbe free to put some much needed gloss on the scoreline. McCrabbe then attempted to goal from a free but his shot was tipped over by Callaghan as Lucan saw out the game with little fuss.
SCORERS – Lucan: P Kelly 1-2, T Somers 0-5 (5f), P Brennan 1-1, P Carroll 0-2, Mick Maye, G Coleman, A Roche, K Fitzgerald, J McCaffrey 0-1 each. Craobh Chiaráin: K Warren 1-1, A McCrabbe 0-4 (4f), S McDonald 0-2, D Kelly, P Purtell, D Keane 0-1 each.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS: D Cunningham; N Gleeson, P Callaghan, C Dooley; M Maye, P O’Driscoll, G Coleman; J McCaffrey, B Aird; T Somers, P Carroll, P Kelly; A Roche, K O’Reilly, P Brennan. Subs: R Lambert for O’Reilly (9), K Fitzgerald for O’Driscoll (47).
CRAOBH CHIARáIN: S Chester; K Elliot, E Farrell, Damien O’Reilly; D Kelly, Derek O’Reilly, D Kirwan; S McDonald, G Kelly; P Purtell, S Mulhall, A McCrabbe; D Keane, F Usanga, K Warren. Subs: P O’Boyle for McDonald (24), G Ennis for Kelly (41), J Finnegan for O’Reilly (46), K English for Keane(50), R Mahon for Usanga (50).
REF: T Lambe (St Vincent’s).
Diarmuid Geraghty, Evening Herald