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3 second-half goals key as Na Fianna see off Lucan Sarsfields in Dublin SFC

Conor McHugh, Darragh Kennedy and Sean Caffrey hit the vital strikes

Na Fianna 3-9
Lucan Sarsfields 1-10

Fintan O’Toole reports from Parnell Park

A TRIO OF SECOND-HALF goals and some key contributions from their inter-county men propelled Na Fianna to an opening group stage victory over Lucan Sarsfields tonight at Parnell Park.

Conor McHugh scores the equalising goal Conor McHugh struck home the first goal of the night for Na Fianna.

Sean Caffrey brought his personal tally to 1-3, proof of a fine evening’s work by the corner-forward, in injury-time with the third goal that clinched victory for Na Fianna.

The earlier strikes were more crucial with Conor McHugh rolling a shot to the net in the 42nd minute at a time when Na Fianna were three points in arrears and Dublin senior McHugh, whose influence grew notably after the interval, set up Darragh Kennedy for a second goal in the 50th minute.

With St Vincent’s having hammered Skerries Harps in the opening tie in Group 2, this match assumed greater importance and success for Na Fianna was an important one ahead of their clash with the reigning champions on 28 April.

Last year’s Dublin All-Ireland U21 winner Aaron Byrne and Glenn O’Reilly were lively figures in the Na Fianna attack. O’Reilly chipped in with 0-5 while Jonny Cooper and Eoin Murchan had big moments in anchoring the Na Fianna defensive challenge.

Lucan Sarsfields served notice of their intentions by posting the opening two points of the game and then they pounced for a goal in the 8th minute. The surging run of wing-back Declan O’Shaughnessy was the launchpad for the strike and corner-forward Harry Ladd showed the composure to pick out the corner of the net.

Harry Ladd scores a goal despite the efforts of Eoin Murchan Harry Ladd bagged the first-half goal for Lucan Sarsfields. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Na Fianna rallied to move in front 0-6 to 1-2 yet substitute Darren Gavin, another member of Dessie Farrell’s triumphant Dublin U21 team from 2017, made his presence felt around the middle for Lucan along with Emmet Ó Conghaile.

Lucan had attacking threats in Connor and Brendan Gallagher which enabled them to hold Na Fianna scoreless between the 18th and 42nd minute marks, while registering 0-4 themselves in that time frame.

A tight, tense and often fiery clash was still up for grabs when Connor Gallagher nudged Lucan ahead 1-8 to 1-7 in the 49th minute. But Na Fianna were more clinical in front of goal and they weaved together the necessary attacking patterns to get the job done.

Darragh Kennedy celebrates after scoring a goal Delight for Na Fianna's Darragh Kennedy after he bagged a goal. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Scorers for Na Fianna: Sean Caffrey 1-3, Glenn O’Reilly 0-5 (0-2f), Conor McHugh, Darragh Kennedy 1-0 each, Aaron Byrne 0-1.

Scorers for Lucan Sarsfields: Connor Gallagher 0-5 (0-2f), Harry Ladd 1-0, Brendan Gallagher, Darren Gavin 0-2 each, John McCormack 0-1.

Na Fianna

1. David O’Hanlon

2. Darragh Kennedy
3. Jonny Cooper
4. Niall Cooper

5. Niall McGovern
6. Eoin Murchan
7. Paul O’Hanlon

8. Eoghan McHugh
9. Alasdar Fitzgerald

11. Aaron Byrne
13. Michael Deegan
12. Glenn O’Reilly

15. Sean Caffrey
10. Conor McHugh
14. Timothy Foran

Subs

27. Eoin Neville for Foran (half-time)
30. Donal Ryan for Fitzgerald (inj) (34)
28. Eoin O’Dea for O’Hanlon (54)

Lucan Sarsfields

1. Philip Green

2. Luke Walsh
3. Dan Gallagher
4. CJ Smith

5. Paul Casey
6. John McCormack
7. Declan O’Shaughnessy

8. Emmet Ó Conghaile
9. Sean Cleary

10. Keith Moran
11. Brendan Gallagher
12. Sean Newcombe

13. Stephen O’Shaughnessy
14. Connor Gallagher
15. Harry Ladd

Subs

18. Darren Gavin for Cleary (inj) (20)
21. Connor Heffernan for Smith (46)
19. Jack Carey for Stephen O’Shaughnessy (51)

Referee: Barry Tiernan

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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