St Brigid's 0-13 Lucan Sarsfields1-10
A WONDERFUL point in injury time from John McCormack earned Lucan Sarsfields a deserved share of the spoils following their entertaining draw with St Brigid's in their Dublin Adult Football League Division 4 clash at Russell Park last Saturday evening.
Seconds earlier, Lucan had fallen behind to Seán Campbell's excellent strike from distance but a patient build-up allowed McCormack to pierce through the home defence before splitting the posts from 40 metres.
It was fitting that the Lucan centre-back should have the final word given the inspirational display he produced over the 60 minutes as he proved pivotal in the visitors turning around a seven-point interval deficit.
The hosts will rue letting that 0-9 to 0-2 lead disappear in the second-half, but the fluency that they showed in the opening period eluded then upon the restart as they struggled to bring their inside-forward line into play.
Despite falling behind in the opening minute to Dara Shanahan's fine score, St Brigid's largely dominated the opening half, playing with great intelligence as they made the most of the stranglehold provided at centrefield by Campbell and captain Kevin Bonfil.
In the third minute, corner forward Anto Briody produced a classy piece of skill as he dummied away from Robert Ennis before calmly slotting overt from 30 metres to restore parity.
The hosts took the lead for the first time two minutes later as towering full-forward James Campbell was on hand to palm over following a dangerous delivery from centre-forward Neil Brady.
From limited possession, Lucan levelled matters with McCormack reflecting his influence as he joined the attack with telling effect to kick his side's second score in the eighth minute.
Lucan's attacking play deteriorated hugely from that point as they kicked numerous wides as the half evolved, failing to register a score in the 22 minutes up until the half-time whistle.
In contrast, St Brigid's seemed far more assured during that period, with wing-backs Cian Sullivan and Colm Laffan playing integral roles and it was the latter who restored his team's advantage when electing to take his point after gathering David Buckley's sideline ball in the 12th minute.
That lead was doubled five minutes later as Paul Whitty was on the end of a fine team move to kick-start a glut of scores by the Blanchardstown outfit.
Briody added to his tally when converting a close-in free in the 18th minute and within 30 seconds, the talented forward turned adroitly to fire over a glorious point off his left boot to leave four points between the sides.
The visitors were beginning to enjoy a greater degree of possession as the half progressed but their forwards struggled to make an impression against a Brigid's defence superbly marshalled by full-back Shay Smith.
The half culminated with the hosts confirming their superiority as Briody and Whitty landed scores to secure a deserved seven-point lead by the turnaround.|
Whatever advice Lucan took from manager Paul Quinn during the break, the visitors were a different prospect upon the restart with McCormack venturing forward in the opening minute to add momentum to their challenge.
Fellow half-back Fiachra McGrath followed suit soon after and further scores by Shanahan and Ger Towig trimmed Lucan's deficit to three points by the 40th minute.
The hosts eventually regained some of their rhythm to restore their ascendancy through scores by Whitty and Bonfil but Lucan continued to press and they were rewarded through successive points from Shane Quinn, Andy Kirwan and Rory Kelly.
In the 56th minute, Sarsfields drew level with a superb team goal as Dara Mylod found Shanahan close to goal and the latter's finish from 10 yards gave Eoin Lysaght no chance as the ball nested in the top corner.
Sean Campbell's point in the 61st minute appeared the decisive score but McCormack's late intervention was the most equitable conclusion between two well-matched teams.
Scorers - St Brigid's: P Whitty 0-5 (1f); A Briody 0-4 (1f); J Campbell, C Laffan, K Bonfil, S Campbell 0-1 each. Lucan Sarsfields: D Shanahan 1-2; J McCormack 0-3; F McGrath, A Kirwan, G Towig (f), S Quinn (f), R Kelly 0-1 each.
St Brigid's: E Lysaght; R McAnerin, S Smith, G Hughes; C Sullivan, A Hughes, C Laffan; S Campbell, K Bonfil; L Campbell, N Brady, D Buckley; P Whitty, J Campbell, A Briody. Subs: E O'Brien for Brady (30), Brady for Buckley (39), Buckley for Brady (47), J Dunning for O'Brien (54).
Lucan Sarsfields: F Gordon; R Ennis, C Hickey, C Murphy; F McGrath, J McCormack, O Collins; S Jones, R Kelly; A Kirwan, G Towig, C Kelly; D Shanahan, S Quinn, D Mylod. Subs: K McBride for C Kelly (h-t), N Smith for Ennis (49).
Mentors - St Brigid's: Dave Campbell, Sean Murphy. Lucan Sarsfields: Paul Quinn, Shaun White, Peter Callaghan.
Referee: Shay Farrelly (Ballinteer St John's).
Wides - St Brigid's: 10 (5+5). Lucan Sarsfields: 13 (8+5).
Conditions: A drizzly but calm evening.
Player of the Game: John McCormack (Lucan Sarsfields).