Junior Football Championship Final   27/08/2017

JFC Final. Parnell Park. 26.08.17.

Lucan Sarsfields 2-15 v 2-17 St Brigids.

30 mins. 2-06 v 1-4

60 mins. 2-10 v 1-13

70 mins. 2-15 v 1-14

80 mins. 2-15 v 2-17

NCunningham. SKeher. CHickey. SCasey(Capt). AKirwan. AMcCormack. PSloan. TBradley(0-3). MMoran. PCarroll. AParsons. NMcKiernan(0-3). GHamilton(2-2). JDoyle(0-7. 0-4 frees). CTorsney. 


DKealy. RDownes. MRobinson. GFay. ANorton. SCollins. FMcGrath. AO'Neill. DHerlihy. BCreed. 

Schizophrenia."? Jekyll and Hyde? Game of 4 halves?(Not 2). Whatever!! All those thoughts were up for debate in Parnell Park at 6pm yesterday evening. Brigids headed home with the bacon; Lucan returned to the 12th Lock with bare bones to suck on for another year. 2016 Final defeat to Vincents, really hurt. This was much much worse. Lucan remain in the desert searching for an oasis. Looking for a drink, perhaps?

This was a ding dong match. 4-32 scored. 3-23 of that scored into one goal. So maybe more ding, than dong? Lucan scored 2-11 into that goal. The other 2 periods netted 0-4. Nothing in that final 10 min period. That was a cruel bottom line.

It had all started so brightly. Win throw in. Quick ball. Timmy Bradley slots score. 25 secs. Sustained pressure. Turnover. Free awarded. John Doyle free. 2mins. 2 up. Brigids get forward. Quick ball catches Lucan defence at sea, and green flag. 3mins and a point down! Brigids full forward line were a constant threat, and Colm Hickey and Seamus Keher were kept busy. A Doyler free seemed to be drifting wide, when a flying Gareth Hamilton got a fist to the ball, and umpire reaching for green flag. From the kickout, a Lucan turnover saw Niall McKiernan burst through and ball skimmed the bar for a point. Brigids were finding their way into the game, and long ball was causing nervous moments in the Lucan defence. Sloppy mistakes gifted scores. Lucan adopted high ball strategy. Doyler, out ahead palmed ball into the path of Alan Parsons, who drew the cover, before freeing Gareth Hamilton, whose shot to the roof of the net, left Brigids keeper no chance. Lucan were running the show. Hammy won another ball and his pass across the square was a hair's breadth from Peter Carroll's fingertips. Cian Torsney was set free, but keeper & full back combined to stop initial shot, and then, the rebound. Lucan did add 3pts, but it was not enough from such a purple patch. Paul Sloan hobbled ashore. No poisoned arrow, but still clutching his Achilles. A big loss to team. Dave Kealy joined the fray. Brigids had final say to half. High ball came back off the post. Brigids goal seemed the likely outcome, but a Shane Casey block saved the day, and Alan McCormack cleared up. A very soft free allowed Brigids to leave a 5 point, half time gap. 

Doyler free increased gap to 6 points, but Brigids were a different team, with all the momentum. Lucan were sitting further and further back, and as the half progressed, were finding it harder and harder to get into any offensive position. Reinforcements arrived, David Herlihy and Brian Creed. Meanwhile Brigids were keeping the umpire with the white flag well exercised; but for magnificent goal keeping, from Niall Cunningham, the fellow with the green flag would have been equally exercised. From 40th minute Brigids added 0-9, to go 2 points clear. A great Hammy point was the sole entrance on the credit side. Time up. Ref indicated 3 additional minutes. Desperation forced Lucan forward, and John Doyle showed a cool head to cut in from the left and reduce gap to the minimum. Lucan pressed up on the kickout, to no avail. Brigids carried but left the ball short. Niall cleared out to the right wing. 2 quick passes and Hammy was again out in front, and forced onto his left he was able to level the match. 3 mins were up, but kickout was taken. Lucan pressed and won it. Hammy shoots. He seems very happy.  The winner?? Umpires look at each other. No hawkeye. Ref rules wide ball, and signals a long loud blast on the whistle. Time up. 

2-10 v 1-13. 

Nobody is ever prepared for extra time. Lucan, however seemed to have the right mix. Simon Collins, Rory Downes and Andy O'Neill joined the fray. Fiachra McGrath gave Andy Kirwan a deserved rest. Lucan dominated proceedings and added 5 unanswered points. Brigids got a soft free on the stroke of half time to reduce the margin to 4. 

Referee could easily have given Hammy a free, but didn't. Quick ball went up the field, and Niall had no chance with a thunderous finish. This was a huge blow in 1st minute, and self doubt seemed to spread through team. Passes went astray, decisions went the wrong way, fellas were that bit slower to the ball, tired legs and minds make hasty decisions. Brigids levelled. Brigids edged ahead. Lucan fought bravely. There were chances. Lucan never gave up. The losing dressing room is a cold venue. Banisteoir, Donal Crowley put it succinctly, there may be hurt, but no shame. 

Dictionary defines schizophrenia:  "approach characterised by inconsistent or contradictory elements"........and Lucan were definitely inconsistent. 

Paul McGann