Sunday 23 October 2016

Leinster Schools Juv Hurling A League SF: Dublin South edge tense derby

John Meagher Dublin North shoots despite a block from Tom Ahearne, Dublin South
John Meagher Dublin North shoots despite a block from Tom Ahearne, Dublin South
David Bohan Dublin North stops a run by Tom Ahearne Dublin South with his hurley
DUBLIN SOUTH: (back, l-r) Jack Kelly, Tom Ahearne, Colm Behan, Seán Kinsella, Pádraig Puirséil, Shane Lawlor, Hercus Svinglinkas, Jacques Dalton, Ian O’Heither; (front, l-r) Matthew Dunne, Darrach McBride, Ciarán Nangle, Eddie Gibbons, Conor Mooney, Ciarán Foley
Craig Berrigan, Dublin North charges past Hercus Svinglinkasm Dublin South
Dublin South's Ciaran Foley clears from John Sammon and John Meagher, Dublin North
Kevin Byrne tries to get past Hercus Svinglinkas, Dublin South
David Bohan, Dublin North, clears from Colm Behan
Dublin South's Tom Ahearne is blocked by Conor Scully and Liam Dunne, Dublin North
Dublin North's Craig Berrigan shows his stick control as he is chased by Sean Kinsella
Jack Lambert, Dublin South stoops to collect as Conor O Brien, Dublin North closes in
John Sammon, Dublin North looks for possession with Ciaran Foley, Dublin South
Conor Mooney, Dublin South, tracks Conor Berrigan, Dublin North
DUBLIN NORTH: (back, l-r) Daragh Hewson, Craig Berrigan, Liam Dunne, John Sammon, Conor O’Brien, Conor Scully, Cian Murphy, Mark Sweeney; (front, l-r) Kevin Byrne, David Bohan, Liam Foley, John Meagher, Dara McLoughney, Conor Berrigan, Tom Kinnane.

A BRACE of second-half goals from Shane Lawlor were crucial at O’Toole Park on Monday evening as Dublin South booked their place in the Leinster Schools Juvenile Hurling ‘A’ League decider following a thrilling encounter with rivals Dublin North.

Given their status as Group Two winners, South were slight favourites to progress, but playing with the aid of a strong breeze, North (who lost last year’s final to the same opponents) developed an early two-point advantage courtesy of scores from John Sammon (free) and Conor Berrigan.

South responded with similar efforts from Seán Kinsella and Matthew Dunne, but Martin Rabbitte’s charges quickly regained the ascendancy. Midfielder Conor Scully caught the eye with a terrific point, before a fortuitous strike from distance by centre-forward Mark Sweeney slipped through the grasp of South netminder Eddie Gibbons for the opening goal of the contest.

The combined forces of Dunne and Tom Ahearne helped Cian Waldron’s side to initially keep in touch, but thanks to an outstanding individual goal by North inside forward Conor Berrigan, as well as three points from centrefielder Liam Dunne, North held a 2-7 to 0-6 interval cushion.

The strength of the wind meant that South were still in contention, though, and in a fruitful 20-minute spell after the restart, they turned the tie on its head. North extended their lead to eight with a point from Craig Berrigan, but after Coláiste Eoin’s Pádraig Puirséil cancelled out this contribution, Lawlor’s first goal on 34 minutes kick-started a memorable revival.

Boosted by this three-pointer, South restored parity seven minutes later with two points apiece from Ahearne and Dunne, and when Lawlor followed up Ahearne’s 0-2 salvo with another magnificent goal 11 minutes from time, they looked set to saunter towards the finishing line.

North finally halted this scoring blitz with two close-range Sammon frees, however, and despite conceding another point to Lawlor, Scully’s 54th-minute deflected goal left North just two points in arrears.

Indeed, Sammon’s fourth score of the day did raise the possibility of extra-time, but Dublin South ultimately held out for a hard-earned success.

Scorers – Dublin South: S Lawlor 2-1, T Ahearne 0-7 (3f, 3 ‘65’), M Dunne 0-4, S Kinsella, P Puirséil, A O’Toole 0-1 each. Dublin North: C Scully, Conor Berrigan 1-1 each, J Sammon (3f), L Dunne 0-4 each, M Sweeney 1-0, Craig Berrigan 0-1.

DUBLIN SOUTH: E Gibbons; C Mooney, C Foley, J Kelly; I O’Heither, J Dalton, H Svinglinkas; T Ahearne, S Kinsella; P Pursell, C Nagle, C Behan; M Dunne, S Lawlor, D McBride. Subs: A O’Toole for Dunne (41), C Hogan for Behan (53), F Ryan for McBride (56).

DUBLIN NORTH: L Foley; C O’Brien, C Murphy, D McLoughney; D Bohan, D Hewson, T Kinnane; C Scully, L Dunne; J Meagher, M Sweeney, Craig Berrigan; K Byrne, J Sammon, Conor Berrigan. Subs: E Gleeson for Byrne (21), J O’Connell for Gleeson (37), S Foran for Conor Berrigan (48), E Forbes for McLoughney (53).

Ref: J Brennan (Thomas Davis).

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