TWO first-half goals from Philly Ryan helped St Brigid's account for Lucan Sarsfields by seven points in their Dublin Senior Football Championship second round encounter at a rain-sodden Parnell Park last night.
ST BRIGID'S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-11
LUCAN SARSFIELDS . . . . . . . . . . .1-10
In doing so, the reigning holders showed that they have no intention in relinquishing the title they secured so impressively last autumn and the strength in depth that served them so well was a key facet in yesterday's ultimately comfortable victory.
Brigid's had to do without the services of Graham Norton, Conor Moran, Sean Murray, Kevin Bonner, Gavin McIntyre, Mark Cahill and Daire Plunkett yet they still had too much in hand of last year's beaten semi-finalists who only truly showed their capabilities when the contest was already decided.
Their struggles were reflected in their first score arriving as late as the 20th minute with them trailing by 10 points when Ryan grabbed his second goal two minutes earlier.
Lorcan McCarthy opened the scoring for Brigid's through a third-minute free and Lucan were unfortunate to lose the services of Declan O'Shaughnessy three minutes later which forced a reshuffle in their attacking sextet.
Further down the field, they struggled to cope with a vibrant St Brigid's forward line with further points from Cian Mullins and Ken Darcy preceding the game's opening goal in the 12th minute.
Lucan were architects in their downfall as Darcy gained possession from a defensive mix-up and his pass to Ryan led to an inevitably clinical finish from eight metres by the Dublin under 21 star.
After Paddy Andrews had extended his side's advantage at the end of the first quarter, he turned provider for Ryan, whose finish lacked the authority of the earlier strike but bobbled unconvincingly over the line nonetheless.
Dermot Gallagher's 20th-minute free finally ended Sarsfields' scoring travails but Lucan fell further behind as both Darcy and McCarthy recorded their second points of a one-sided first-half.
Two unanswered points by Emmet Ó Conghaile and Kevin Fitzgerald handed Lucan a modicum of momentum but the midfield pairing of John O'Loughlin and Mullins highlighted their value with late scores to leave Brigid's 2-8 to 0-3 to the good by the interval.
Two Gallagher frees within the first four minutes of the restart gave an improved Lucan a positive resumption to affairs but normal service was resumed when Odhran McCann crashed home in the 35th minute after a typically unselfish pass by Darcy.
Lucan refused to accept the inevitable with Ó Conghaile and Gallagher kicking fine points from play before Brian Collopy availed of the updated square-ball rules to flick to the net from Stephen O'Shaughnessy's lengthy delivery in the 44th minute.
Andrews ensured that Brigid's kept their scoreboard ticking over with two classy points as the half progressed and although Gallagher responded in kind for Lucan, their comeback always looked likely to fall short.
So it proved with Brigid's confirming their win through a close-in free by Darcy with the late sending-off of Alan Daly arriving too late to alter the complexion of the tie.
Scorers -- St Brigid's: P Ryan 2-0, O McCann 1-0, K Darcy (1f), P Andrews 0-3, L McCarthy (1f), C Mullins 0-2, J O'Loughlin 0-1. Lucan Sarsfields: Dermot Gallagher 0-6 (5f), B Collopy 1-1 (0-1f), E Ó Conghaile 0-2, K Fitzgerald 0-1.
St Brigid's: S Supple; C Freeman, M Cahill, A Creagh; A Daly, C Doyle, G Kane; C Mullins, J O'Loughlin; O McCann, B Cahill, L McCarthy; P Ryan, K Darcy, P Andrews. Subs: C Kilmurray for Doyle (52), D O'Connor for Darcy (58), E Maguire for Andrews (61).
Lucan Sarsfields: F Gordan; D Kealy, B O'Neill, D McKillen; J McCormack, S O'Shaughnessy, Dan Gallagher; M Twomey, K Moran; E Ó Conghaile, Dermot Gallagher, P Casey; N Flynn, D O'Shaughnessy, B Collopy. Subs: K Fitzgerald for D O'Shaughnessy (6), M McCaffrey for McCormack (37), S Carroll for Kealy (39), J O'Neill for Flynn (44), C Larkin for Fitzgerald (51).
REF: S McCarthy (St Vincent's).