Junior A's pipped by Lucan in Championship Semi Final
Late goal for Lucan seals victory over luckless Junior A's
Following a morning of torrential rain in the capital, and trojan behind the scenes work by Manager Seamus Kennedy, this Junior A championship semi-final went ahead on Wednesday evening 16th October, with an 8:30pm start in West Dublin at St Anne's Bohernabreena. The under foot conditions were surprisingly good and the strong wind favoured Crokes in the 1st half. The game was highly competitive from the off, with every ball fought for and space at a premium. Enda Mahon opened the scoring for Kilmacud with a fine point. A very early injury to corner back Gearoid Finnerty saw U-17 Ruairi Geraghty called into action early. Lucan dominated the opening 15 minutes but were wayward with their shooting. Assisted by the strong wind Paddy Tighe's long, long puck outs were landing deep, but the expected dividend failed to materialise and in the final analysis, in a game of tight margins, this was probably the difference between defeat and a place in the Junior A championship final. Paddy Tighe pointed two excellent long range frees and Lucan replied with 2 points of their own. Ciaran McIntyre pointed a close range free from a very acute angle. Crokes upped their game in the last 15 mins of the half with excellent points from Dara O'Gallchobhair, James O'Mahoney and a fine Ray Mangan effort over the shoulder from out on the right hand touchline. Lucan goaled in a slightly fortuitous manner, from a ball that broke in the small parallelogram and added a point to leave the minimum between the sides at the interval.
HT Kilmacud Crokes 0-7, Lucan 1-3
Johnno Hayes came into the fray in the only half time change for Crokes. The second half started well with points from play from Dara O'Gallchobhair and Ciaran McIntyre. Lucan replied with a highly controversial "point" (that was 6 inches outside the post) and two frees to bring the sides all square. Kilmacud had it all to do with 15 mins to go and to their credit battled superbly, but scoring opportunities were at a premium. Lucan pointed and added another free to lead by two with 5 mins to go. Ciaran McIntyre brought the margin down to the bare minimum with a free with a minute to go. Possession was vital from the next puck out and it went with the Lucan lads and a long delivery lead to an excellent last minute goal from the corner forward to decide the outcome. Darren McVeigh and Conor O'Dwyer joined the action during the second half.
This was a game that a well prepared Crokes team had high hopes of progressing from. Injuries to a few key players did not help the cause. However there is no doubt Kilmacud can consider themselves somewhat unlucky in conceding 2 goals and could certainly have prevailed in this game. The second half performance in particular demostrated superb character but with the benefit of hindsight, having played with the wind in the 1st half, there was just a little too much left to do. On balance this very experienced and extremely hard working Lucan 2nd team just did enough to earn the spoils and advance to a county decider versus Castleknock.
Best for Crokes on the night were Dave Canny, rolling back the years with a top notch performance at full back, a superb shift from 21 year old James "chief" O'Keeffe in the pivotal centre back role, ably assisted by his wing backs Paul Collins and minor Donncha O'Murchu. Further up the pitch James O'Mahoney at midfield and Barrai Brennan (particularly in the 1st half) were to the fore.
Team: Paddy Tighe, Gearoid Finnerty, Dave Canny, Fergus Munnelly, Donnacha O'Murchu, James O’Keeffe, Paul Collins, Shane Canny, James O'Mahoney, Barrai Brennan, Ray Mangan, Dara O'Gallchobhair, Barry Horan, Enda Mahon, Ciaran McIntyre;
Subs Damien McSweeney, Conor O'Dwyer (for S.Canny, 55min), Darren McVeigh (for Enda Mahon, 40mins), Joe Walsh, Ruairi Geraghty (for Gearoid Finnerty, 5min), Mark Lynskey, Kevin Dalton, Oisin Carroll, Johnno Hayes (for B.Horan, half-time), Richie Power, Conor Caulfield, Conor Sweeney;
Injured: Paddy Rath, Brian Sheehan, Daire Brennan, Peter Herlihy.