Lucan Sarsfields 1-15 O’Tooles 3-11
Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group A
By Darragh Twomey at Parnell Park
O’Tooles emerged from a thrilling encounter with Lucan Sarsfields as two point victors at Parnell Park on Saturday evening (4th May).
The win leaves them sitting on top of Group A of the Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship after the first round of fixtures. However, they are only ahead of Cuala on point difference as the Dalkey club overcame Craobh Chiarain by 1-11 to 0-12 in O’Toole Park.
The first half in Donnycarney featured a total of thirteen wides, with O’Tooles responsible for nine of them.
In what was a very tight game throughout, neither side managed to take a healthy lead until six minutes from time when a Ger O’Meara goal gave O’Tooles the edge over their opponents.
It was Lucan who got off to the better start as Kevin O’Reilly put them 1-1 up inside two minutes. He opened the scoring with a free, and seconds later he added a goal.
The corner-forward went on a magnificent solo run before burying the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Barry Aird and Ciaran Kimmage exchanged points in the fourth minute for Lucan and O’Tooles respectively, while Trevor Lee and Conor Carton repeated the feat eight minutes later.
Michael Cunningham scored O’Tooles first goal of the game in the thirteenth minute. He doubled on a high ball on the edge of the square and the ball went past David Quinn who was caught flat-footed in the Lucan goal.
Conor Carton pointed another free to bring the game level midway through the half, however Lucan took the lead again two minutes later when O’Reilly stuck over a placed ball.
Carton added another pont from a free in the twentieth minute, but it was quickly cancelled out by Daragh Brennan at the other end, although they should have scored a goal.
Johnny McCaffrey broke away from his man and unselfishly handed the ball off to Lee on the edge of the square. He went for goal, but he was denied by the brilliant Brendan McLoughlin from point-blank range.
Graham Morris slotted over a point for the north-siders in the twenty-fourth minute, and this was the final score as the sides went into the break all square at 1-5 each.
Conor Carton pointed from the terraced wing to put O’Tooles ahead seconds after the restart. However, they failed to score again in the next thirteen minutes of play.
It was a level game yet again when Aidan Roche got his name on the score-sheet for Lucan in the thirty-fourth minute. Another O’Reilly free put Lucan ahead three minutes later.
O’Tooles pointed again from a free, but in the typical end-to-end style of this game, Lucan went and scored a point at the opposite end a minute later.
McLoughlin came out from his goal to take a free, but with the sun in his eyes he completely miss-hit it. So the ball went straight from an ex-Dub to a current-Dub, McCaffrey, and he hit a fabulous pass into the corner where O’Reilly graciously gathered the ball and stuck it over the bar.
Gary Coleman was was brought on for Lucan in place of Rob Lambert who suffered a blow to the head, and Coleman pointed shortly after his introduction.
Midway through the half, O’Tooles got another goal on the scoreboard.
A powerful Andrew Morris shot went into the roof of the net via a faint touch off a Lucan hurl.
Aird and Carton swapped scores for the sides a minute later, before O’Tooles substitute Liam Donoghue scored a point.
Aird added another point for Lucan with ten minutes remaining to put them just a point behind, but O’Tooles excelled three minutes later and scored 1-1 courtesy of O’Meara and Morris.
Morris pointed a free while O’Meara, who was in the full forward line waiting to be substituted, pulled on a breaking ball and found the back of the net.
Lucan searched desperately in the closing minutes for a goal, but failed.
Chris Crummey and Roche scored points from play while O’Reilly struck over two frees, one of which nearly crept under the crossbar, to leave a point in it in injury time.
O’Tooles held on, and the final puck of the game saw Carton drive the ball over from sixty-five yards as his side won 3-11 to 1-15.
Lucan Sarsfields: Trevor Lee (0-1), Barry Aird (0-3), Kev O’Reilly (1-6, 0-5f), Daragh Brennan (0-1), Aidan Roche (0-2), Chris Crummey (0-1), Gary Coleman (0-1).
O’Tooles: Graham Morris (0-1), Ciaran Kimmage (0-1), Michael Cunningham (1-0), Conor Carton (0-6, 0-4 f), Ger O’Meara (1-0), Andrew Morris (1-1, 0-1 f), Paddy Carton (0-1), Liam Donoghue (0-1).
Lucan Sarsfields: David Quinn, Matt McCaffrey, A Kelly, Cronan Dooley, Peter Kelly, Rob Lambert, Tommy Somers, Johnny McCaffrey, Mick May, Trevor Lee, Barry Aird, Aidan Roche, Kevin O’Reilly, Chris Crummey, Daragh Brennan. Subs: D Clarke (for Lee 34 mins); Fintan Clandillon (for Brennan 50 mins); Gary Coleman (for Rob Lambert 43 mins).
O’Tooles: Brendan McLoughlin, Ciaran Gettings, Richie Walker, Christy Mulligan, Ger O’Meara, Kevin Ryan, Jody Bastow, Peadar Carton, Graham Morris, Paddy Carton, Michael Carton, Andrew Morris, Ciaran Kimmage, Michael Cunningham, Conor Carton. Subs: Liam Donoghue (for Cunningham 45 mins); Sean O’Keefe (for Peadar Carton 53 mins).