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Lucan left to wonder what might have been after brilliant Bernard puts Plunkett’s through

Evening Herald Dublin SFC semi-final: ST OLIVER PLUNKETT’S/ER 1-12, LUCAN SARSFIELDS 1-8

PLUNKETT’S are back on the big stage – but they really had to earn their |ticket in Saturday’s Parnell Park Evening Herald Dublin SFC semi-final.

Lucan gave them more than a rattle. Right from the off, the Sars got their blocks and tackles in. They gave it their all.

And they were complaining bitterly afterwards that they were denied a penalty six minutes from time when they were trailing by 1-9 to 1-7.

Lucan were attacking the church end. Paul Casey fed the Dublin hurler, Peter Kelly, who found Jimmy O’Neill steaming through. Jimmy’s road was blocked by the covering defenders.

He ended up on the turf right in front of the goal.

Lucan claim he was fouled. But play continued and a free from Bernard Brogan followed by a point from play by the impressive Ross McConnell extended Plunkett’s lead to four points with two minutes left on the clock.

The two sides had given the |sun-splashed crowd decent value. Plunkett’s were the hottest of favourites. Lucan hadn’t read the previews.

Stamped

They grafted for every crumb. Every Lucan score was stamped with sweat. Plunkett’s found it easier to raise the flag, but they had also 14 wides to dwell on. Lucan had seven.

“We are just happy we got through,” reflected Plunkett’s boss, Mick Galvin.

“Maybe the football wasn’t the greatest, but semi-finals don’t tend to be spectacular.

“Lucan gave us a tough test. They are a good side. We didn’t play particularly well, but we worked hard and that was the main thing.”

Mick and the Navan Road faithful were glad to see the man in the blue boots, Alan Brogan, enter the arena following his knee injury. “It’s great. Any team would be delighted to have Alan,” noted Mick.

Every side would also love to possess slick finishers like the Lucan lads, Tommy Brennan and David Quinn. Tommy kicked three splendid points in the first half, the first one which came from a remarkable angle on the left. It’s a contender for point of the season.

David Quinn also hit two gems in that opening period which saw Lucan trail at the break, 1-6 to 0-6. The goal arrived in the 14th minute.

It was a pin-ball wizard type of effort as Plunkett’s engineered a passing movement at the speed of light with Jayo as its chief architect.

Bernard Brogan completed the job, striking low to the left corner. BB struck some telling scores.

Lucan’s goal in the 45th minute changed the climate of the hour. Plunkett’s were ahead by 1-8 to 0-7. Casey went at the heart of the Plunkett’s defence. He slipped a pass to Dermot Gallagher who fired a shot just under the slates.

Bernard Brogan replied with a free. Then came the big shout for a penalty. The Lucan supporters were on their feet.

Ross McConnell was on his toes for the hour. He caught some great ball. If there was a man-of-the-match award, he was well up on the leaderboard.

As Lucan left the building, deep disappointment was written all over the face of their manager, Mick Bohan.

Mick spotted a cluster of the Plunkett’s faithful gathered outside. He picked up a smile and wished them all the best for the final.

SCORERS – St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER: B Brogan 1-7 (0-2f), R McConnell, G Smith (2f) 0-2 each, J Sherlock 0-1. Lucan Sarsfields: T Brennan 0-5 (2f), Dermot Gallagher 1-0, D Quinn 0-2, B Gallagher 0-1.

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT’S/ER: Philip Brogan; |R O’Connor, S Lyons, P Curtin; C Evans, Paul Brogan, S Dunne; R McConnell, A Moyles; |D Matthews, G Smith, C Walsh; A D’Arcy, B Brogan, J Sherlock. Subs: C Fitzsimons for Curtin (ht); A Brogan for D’Arcy (34); C Daly for Dunne (53); C Dunleavy for Moyles (55).

LUCAN SARSFIELDS: F Gordon; C Larkin, S O’Shaughnessy, Dan Gallagher; P Casey, |B O’Neill, A Kirwan; M Twomey, K Moran; |S Newcombe, Dermot Gallagher, B Collopy; T Brennan, D Quinn, B Gallagher. Subs: P Kelly for Moran (ht); C O’Neill for Collopy (42); J O’Neill for Quinn (52).

REF: P Kiernan (St Olaf’s).