GO AHEAD ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE SOUTH
LUCAN SARSFIELDS 4-9
THOMAS DAVIS 0-16
By Daire Walsh
Two goals in each half proved crucial for Lucan Sarsfields at Kiltipper Road as the 12th Lock men got the better of Thomas Davis in an eventful Go Ahead Adult Football League Division One South encounter on Wednesday night.
Supplementing a brace of Luke Curran majors, central attackers Brendan Gallagher and Harry Ladd also rattled the net for Dave Cullen’s charges. Having recorded their first win of the campaign at home to Ballinteer St John’s last Saturday week, Lucan now find themselves in a good vein of form ahead of Cuala’s visit to their home ground this weekend.
This is Davis’ third consecutive reversal in this year’s top-flight, but the Tallaght side can take great encouragement from the way they performed for much of this contest. Their previous defeats to Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden St Enda’s were by a single point and there is enough evidence to suggest they will be a force to be reckoned with as the club season progresses.
Corner-forwards Eoin Kirby and Chris Sallier produced impressive displays for the hosts - amassing a combined tally of 10 points. Midfielder Ryan Deegan and substitute Conor Guilfoyle also contributed 0-2 apiece, which helped Davis’ to reduce their deficit to the bare minimum late on before Ladd’s goal eventually placed the outcome beyond doubt.
On a baking hot evening, Sallier opened the scoring with a point after a Kirby free-kick had shaken the woodwork. Lucan quickly settled into their stride, however, with wing-back Ciaran Smith breaking into space to curl a right-footed shot between the posts.
Despite achieving mixed results in the opening four rounds of AFL1, Sarsfields have shown a midas touch in front of goal. Over the course of their previous three games, they raised a green flag on no fewer than five occasions.
It took them just seven minutes to do likewise in this contest, with Gallagher palming home from close-range after Ladd had flicked his initial pass against the crossbar. This was the ideal start to the action for Lucan and with Daire Newcombe marshalling their defence, Davis' were forced to work hard for their scores.
Nevertheless, Sallier and Kirby (free) fired over unanswered efforts to leave the home team a single point adrift at the first half water break (1-1 to 0-3). The excellent Kirby cancelled out a Gallagher free on the stroke of 20 minutes to keep Davis’ well in contention, but they suffered a set-back moments later when Ladd released Curran for a smooth finish past opposition netminder Dylan Caffrey.
While this created some extra daylight between the teams, a resolute Thomas Davis continued to persevere with their challenge. Courtesy of successive points from Mark Leigh, Sallier and the ever-dependable Deegan, Lucan were kept firmly on their toes.
Centre half-back Oisin Kelly also burst through the heart of the Sarsfields rearguard during this juncture, but his subsequent strike was well-gathered by Mark Gibbons. Matching the contribution of his opposite number Leigh, half-forward Luke Walsh dissected the uprights to propel Lucan into a 2-3 to 0-7 interval buffer.
Davis’ introduced Guilfoyle on the restart, to add a new lease of life to their attacking play. It had an immediate effect, with the lively inside forward following up Deegan’s excellent solo score to bring his side back on level terms in the 32nd-minute.
Kirby was then on hand to edge Davis’ into the ascendancy for the second time in the game, but Lucan responded by adding a substitute of their own to the mix. Jack Carey was sprung from the bench and he was joined in the 39th-minute by Ben O’Toole.
Gallagher’s dead-ball accuracy helped the visitors to turn the tables on their southside counterparts and he was the instigator for Lucan’s third goal of the tie. At the end of a surging run, the former Leitrim footballer had his fierce drive turned away by rival custodian Caffrey.
Fortunately for Lucan, Curran was ideally-placed to kick home the rebound. Another Gallagher free kept the scoreboard ticking over, but with Kirby finding the target either side of this effort, Davis’ were not out of the running just yet.
They gained a numerical advantage inside the final-quarter when Lucan’s Sean Newcombe was issued with a straight red card and while scores were hard to come by, Kirby brought his personal haul to 0-7 approaching the end of normal time.
The Lucan cushion was now down to a single point (3-6 to 0-14) and this remained the case after replacements Carey and Guilfoyle traded scores. It looked set to go down to the wire in an extended period of stoppage-time, until Ladd fired to the net at a left-hand angle.
He was close to grabbing a second goal in as many minutes, only to be denied by a goal-line clearance. However, Sean Cleary rounded off this move with a fisted point to edge Lucan within sight of another league victory.
Gibbons did tip over a rasping strike by corner-back Adam Fallon, before Ladd slotted over off a quick-fire counter attack to claim the spoils for Sarsfields.
Following the disappointment of this loss, Thomas Davis will make the short journey to Tymon Park on Saturday for a top-flight showdown against St Jude’s.
Scorers - Lucan Sarsfields:Brendan Gallagher 1-4 (0-4f), Luke Curran 2-0, Harry Ladd 1-1, Ciaran Smith, Sean Cleary, Luke Walsh, Jack Carey 0-1 each.Thomas Davis:Eoin Kirby 0-7 (4f), Chris Sallier 0-3, Ryan Deegan, Conor Guilfoyle 0-2 each, Adam Fallon, Mark Leigh 0-1 each.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS:Mark Gibbons; Robert Ennis, Derek Cahill, Andy Kirwin; Ciaran Smith, Daire Newcombe, John McCormack; Sean Cleary, Darren Gavin; Luke Walsh, Brendan Gallagher, Sean Newcombe; Luke Curran, Harry Ladd, Shane Quinn.Subs:Jack Carey for Quinn (35), Ben O’Toole for Cahill (39), Cian Buckley for McCormack (51), Keith Moran for Curran (58).
THOMAS DAVIS:Dylan Caffrey; Adam Fallon, Gavin Carruth, Aaron Shorten; Eoin Lambert, Oisin Kelly, Sean Kennedy; Ryan Deegan, Eamon Conroy; Mark Leigh, Josh Lambert, Mark Nolan; Chris Sallier, Eanna O’Toole, Eoin Kirby.Subs:Conor Guilfoyle for Leigh (half-time), Dylan Hennessey for Nolan (55).
Referee:Keith Tighe (St Anne’s).