Lucan and Boden reach last four as Faughs bow out
By Daire Walsh
LUCAN Sarsfields and Ballyboden St Enda’s reached the semi-final stage of the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship courtesy of their respective victories over Kilmacud Crokes and St Vincent’s last weekend.
Lucan's success at the expense of Crokes at Parnell Park on Sunday was quite the coup, given the Stillorgan men were tipped as one of the favourites to go all the way in this year’s competition.
Conal Keaney helped Ballyboden to an emphatic win over St Vincent’s
Yet thanks to the scoring power of Ben Coffey and Chris Crummey, not to mention the influence of former county stars Johnny McCaffrey and Peter Kelly, the 12th Lock men prevailed by the slenderest of margins (0-16 to 1-12).
Kilmacud had begun the contest in fine fashion, establishing a three-point cushion with just 10 minutes gone on the clock. However, Lucan turned the tables on their opponents by registering four unanswered points, including three from the dependable Coffey.
The dead-ball specialist combined to great effect with the outstanding Crummey, who was lining out alongside Kelly in Lucan’s half-forward line. Though Caolan Conway and Oisin O’Rorke points gave Crokes a slender 0-9 to 0-8 buffer at the break, it was Sarsfields who were the dominant side on the resumption.
Comple-menting another Coffey free, Crummey posted three points to move his side into the driving seat. After netminder Cillian Murray turned away a Ronan Hayes penalty, Lucan proceeded to establish further daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Ben Coffey played his part in a great win for Lucan
A Hayes goal made matters interesting in the closing moments, but Lucan held firm and will now face Cuala in the last-four.
Na Fianna are set to provide the opposition for Ballyboden in the last four, following the latter’s emphatic 1-18 to 1-8 triumph over St Vincent’s at the same venue on Saturday.
Paul Ryan and Conal Keaney led the way for the seven-time champions in the opening period, while James Madden, Niall Ryan, Niall McMorrow and Aidan Mellett also raised white flags to give ‘Boden a commanding 0-10 to 0-6 interval buffer.
The elements were in their favour on the resumption and as a consequence, they increased their advantage over Vincent’s.
Despite being just a couple of weeks shy of his 38th birthday, Conal Keaney continues to turn on the style at the highest level. He dovetailed to great effect with long-time sparring partner Paul Ryan, whose successful penalty on 55 minutes moved ‘Boden into a 13-point lead (1-17 to 0-7).
John Hetherton responded for Vincent’s with a goal of his own, but Ballyboden ultimately cruised into the last-four.
Earlier on the same day at Dublin GAA HQ, Faughs’ championship campaign ended in a comprehensive 4-20 to 2-10 defeat at the hands of an impressive Na Fianna. It had been a difficult start to the proceedings for the Templeogue outfit – the twin threat of Donal Burke and Sean Currie propelling Na Fianna into an early six-point cushion.
Faughs sit on top of the competition’s roll of honour with 31 titles and they bolstered their prospects with goals either side of the first-quarter mark. Ciaran Brennan shook the net after capitalising on a defensive mishap and this was followed by Carl O’Mahony’s three-pointer on 22 minutes.
This was an initial shock to the system for Na Fianna, but they issued a powerful response in the remaining minutes of the half. Burke rattled the net in spectacular fashion and with Martin Quilty also in fine form, the Glasnevin men were 1-11 to 2-3 in front at the break.
Though Faughs remained in contention, goals from Michael Murphy and Quilty shortly after the restart left them with a mountain to climb. To their credit, Johnny Greville’s charges displayed admirable perseverance and O’Mahony kept the scoreboard ticking over with a series of pointed frees.
Nevertheless, Na Fianna were never in danger of losing their grip on the game and Donal Burke rounded off a scintillating personal display by grabbing his second goal two minutes from time.
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