Lucan CC progress to the Leinster semi finals after thrilling victory against Grennan College, Kilkenny
Lucan CC emerged 4-3 victors in a Leinster cup quarter final that had all the elements of an epic Hollywood sporting drama.
In a game that saw a man sent off, a converted penalty, a saved penalty, a red card, rattled woodwork and wonder goals the lads from Lucan CC showed immense heart and determination to emerge victorious.
After dominating possession in the opening 10 minutes, Lucan CC saw themselves 1-0 down after a quick break in a classic counter acting move.
Lucan equalised with a superb strike from Daniel Gaffney following a text book training ground routine involving Ciaran Behan and captain Daniel Grant.
The half progressed in pretty much the same fashion with the Dublin side dominating possession but failing to take advantage on the scoreboard.
The start of the second half saw Lucan concede a penalty early.
Goalkeeper Imrich Toth save expertly from the spot-kick but the rebound fell nicely to lads from Kilkenny who converted to reassert their lead.
However the lads from Dublin had an opportunity very soon after to level the match when they were awarded their own penalty but the ball hit the crossbar and Kilkenny cleared their lines.
Manager Colum O’Gorman was forced into a substitution when Callum Jones was injured and needed to be replaced by Ireland U-17 international Josh Giorgiu.
It didn’t take long for the youngest squad member to show exactly why he deserves his place in this senior squad.
He shot sublimely from outside the box to score an absolute wonder goal to level proceedings at 2-2.
In the continuation of this ding dong battle Kilkenny reclaimed the lead following a free kick just outside the box with Lucan unfortunate to concede as it went in off one of their own players.
In what will clearly be seen in the future as a managerial masterclass, O’Gorman replaced Jack Colgan with Conor Finn who rose exquisitely to score a peach of a goal after getting his head to a super cross from Amos Nohilly.
The tie, now poised at 3-3 had been a thrilling encounter up to this point, but the final 10 minutes proved the most dramatic.
With a Herculean effort which saw all of the Lucan lads commit to the cause and rally to support each other Josh Giorgiu popped up again with a strike that sent the Lucan team, subs and supporters into a ferocious frenzy of euphoric celebrations.
The strike, albeit scored by an individual, perfectly epitomised the lads’ dogged determination and will to fight to the end.
Within minutes Kilkenny had regrouped and some tricky ball carrying saw Lucan CC mistime a tackle and find themselves down to 10 men with 6 mins of normal time left.
The lads dug deep and used all of their mental reserve to come out on top which also saw Kilkenny hit the woodwork with the last kick of the game from an excellently taken free kick.
There were amazing individual performances on display during the game but it was the overall team performance at the end of the encounter that enabled Lucan CC to emerge triumphant.
A Leinster senior semi final awaits for a super bunch of young men.
Huge congratulations must go to Mr O’Gorman and Mr Duffy for their work with the Senior Boys team. Thanks also to Mr Duffy for providing this match report.