Lusk show Gaels no mercy
Round Towers Lusk 6-12 Trinity Gaels 0-8
One could forgive James Hanratty for his spot of over-exuberance on Saturday as Round Towers Lusk moved one stepped closer to automatic promotion with an emphatic win over Trinity Gaels in Donaghmede.
Hanratty's little jig as he slotted in his side's sixth goal of the evening was probably a throwback to the days of old when the likes of Conor Mortimer would pull his jersey over his head in Croker and Joe Brolly would blow kisses into the hill.
These are less innocent times now, but one couldn't deny Hanratty the chance to celebrate his moment in the sun on what was a good day for the Lusk half back line.
Hanratty, along with the two Connell brothers, Kyle and Josh, played pivotal roles on the day, with Kyle given licence to roam down the right flank - and with good effect too.
Josh, a former Dublin Under-21 under Dessie Farrell, anchored the defence well, with midfielder Stephen Harford adding extra protection to the Lusk reargaurd in the second half.
Not that Declan Patton's men were troubled to any great extent, but in any case Lusk never dropped their guard against a Trinty Gaels side who, after a promising opening, never recovered after a flurry of first-half goals.
Lusk were out of sight at 4-10 to 0-5, with current Dublin underage star Cormac Howley pulling the strings at midfield.
Howley, having represented Dublin at both minor and Under-20 level, is without doubt one of the greatest talents in Fingal at the monent and along with his seven points he conducted affairs in the middle third with some excellent ball into the full forward line.
Indeed, it was a very productive day for Lusk's inside three, which saw them register 6-2 between them. Cillian Healy would grab the plaudits with the hat-trick and he didn't have to wait long for his first goal.
The game was in its infancy when Howley curled over a terrific effort from half-way, before Hanratty doubled the Lusk advantage soon after.
And then with just two minutes gone, Cathal Bollard and Adam Caul combined to set up Healy who calmly fisted past the the former Dublin minor keeper Evan Whelan.
Lusk continued to open up the home defence, with Bollard again pivotal in setting up a goal chance for Kieran McKitterick who was just a few inches away from netting Lusk's second major.
The Trinity Gaels goal continued to live a charmed live, with Adam Caul blazing just over before Trinity Gaels midfielder and former Fingal hurler Dean Kelly curled over an effort from half-way to narrow the gap to three points. However, it proved a brief respite for the home side, with Lusk grabbing their second goal 12 minutes into the half. Aaron Duffy, who had come on early for George Leech, linked up with Healy to set up McKitterick who beat Whelan with a low finish.
By now Lusk had established a strong foothold in midfield where Howley was in his element as he hit three efforts in as many minutes (Kelly landed one for Gaels at the other end) to put six between the sides - 2-6 to 0-4.
Healy doubled his tally when his shot from the edge of the square went in off a defender and he completed his hat-trick just before the break to hand Lusk a commanding 17-point lead.
Playing into the clubhouse hand in the second half, Lusk continued to apply the pressure and after Howley had opened their second-half account his long ball in was finished off by Bollard, with Hanratty adding their sixth five minutes in.
Lusk then emptied their bench, but it only made them stronger, with the impressive Healy cutting in from the left before producing a save out of Whelan. The experienced netminder was on hand a few minutes later to keep an effort out from Chris Tonge as Lusk maintained their intensity throughout the 60 minutes.
The win leaves Lusk level at the top of the table with Kilmacud Crokes and they should maintain their winning ways when they host bottom of the table St Sylvester's at Thomas Ashe Park tomorrow (Wednesday) night.
Round Towers Lusk: Adam Burns, George Leech, David Hurley, Gary Clare, James Hanratty 1-1, Josh Connell, Kyle Connell, Stephen Harford, Cormac Howley 0-7, Dermot Leech, Rob McGee, Adam Caul 0-2, Kieran McKitterick 1-1, Cathal Bollard 1-0. Cillian Healy 3-1. Subs: Aaron Duffy, Johnny Niall, Declan Moore, Chris Neville, Sean Brennan, Chris Tonge.