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Lucan to banish pain of '09 with Chiaráin's scalp

CRAOBH CHIARAIN v LUCAN SARSFIELDS - (Parnell Park, Tonight, 6.45) - The teams drew in the pool. They called it 'the group of death'. The four clubs all finished on three points – Cuala and O'Toole's lost out on scoring difference.

This clash will revive memories of the semi-final in 2009. Lucan came so close to reaching their first final. They lost by a point.

It was a real winter's tale in Donnycarney. Not an afternoon for bringing in the hay or cutting the turf. It took all of Chiaráin's concrete to get them over the line.

Afterwards in the corridor, the then Craobh manager, Dave Kelly, highly praised the efforts of Lucan. And he wasn't alone. They have been in the championship frame for a good while now. They have the ability and the application.

They showed their fitness in the second half against Crumlin in the quarter-final when they scored 10 points from play. They won by five points in the end.

On the same weekend, Chiaráin's had just two points to spare over the brilliant Ballinteer. As happened so many times in the past, it took abundant helpings of Craobh's craft and conviction to seize the victory.



Darren Kelly had a towering match. Alan McCrabbe was again the chief pilot. His second-half sideline should have found a home on YouTube.

Chiaráin's possess the personnel that know all about the business end of the championship. The championship is what makes the clocks tick in Donnycarney.

Aidan Roche and Kevin O'Reilly played big parts in Lucan's win over Crumlin. Johnny McCaffrey too. Tommy Somers brought along his favourite cue.

David Keane got a vital goal against Ballinteer. It was made by Francis Usanga, a strong, powerful presence on the threshold of the Chiaráin's attack.

Peter Kelly is another top-of-the-bill performer for the Sars. They have gained beneficial knowledge of the big days in the last few seasons. And exams don't come any bigger than Chiaráin's on championship semi-final night.

No team gets as much out of themselves as Chiaráins. They bring such resolve to the arena. It's all about honouring the jersey they feel privileged to wear.

Lucan will have to match that desire. And the hard miles travelled on the road thus far will certainly help in that regard.

VERDICT: Lucan Sarsfields