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U16 Hurling League – Saturday 20th April 2024

U16 Hurling League – Saturday 20th April 2024

Posted April 30, 2024

Naomh Mearnóg 2-24
Lucan Sarsfields 1-10
U16 Hurling League – Saturday 20th April 2024

Finn O’Donnell fired an impressive Naomh Mearnóg team to a big win against Lucan Sarsfield at a sun-drenched Arthur Griffith Park in Lucan on Saturday. Mearnóg hurling manager, Karl Hogan, who made the long trip from Kerry for the match, can be well pleased with the progress this team is making as they produced their best win of the season, so far.
Conditions were ideal for hurling when the ball was thrown in and Mearnóg got off to a quick start with two early points from full forward Daniel Burns. Theo Dunne added a third before James O’Neill got Lucan off the mark with their first point. Quick ball was being delivered into the Mearnóg full forward line and the Lucan defence had their hands full trying to contain the Mearnóg forwards. Burns added another point on 9 minutes before O’Donnell got his first score from a free on 10 minutes. When Liam Hogan landed a long-range point on 12 minutes it looked like Mearnóg were going to run away with the game. In fairness to Lucan they battled hard and points from James O’Neill and half forward Jack Horan kept them in it. Burns and O’Donnell (0-2) added further points for Mearnóg to leave the score 0-11 to 0-4 after 20 minutes.
James O’Neill added 0-2 from frees after some needless fouling by the Mearnóg defence and when Jack Horan added another point from play on 23 minutes the Mearnóg lead was down to 4 points. Just when it looked like Lucan were coming back into the game, Finn O’Donnell stamped his mark on the game, big time, and the Torcaill-native scored 0-6 in as many minutes to leave the score 0-17 to 0-07 at half time.

The second half saw a switch of O’Donnell to full forward and Burns to midfield and Mearnóg continued where they left off with 0-3 from Hogan, O’Donnell and Shane Rafter. On 45 minutes, Mearnóg got their first goal of the game. A high ball was sent in from midfield to the edge of the Lucan square. Aaron McCormack in the Lucan goal failed to hold the ball and O’Donnell, as sharp as a pin, was on hand to slot it home to the net.

At this stage of the game, the Lucan defence were under sustained pressure and were giving away numerous frees. Finn O’Donnell’s free taking was unerring, and he punished Lucan at every opportunity. With time running out Lucan went in search of goals and James O’Neill blasted a cracker from a 25-yard free. Not to be outdone Finn O’Donnell scored 1-02 in the final 5 minutes to take his tally to a fantastic 2-16, showing all the qualities that has him playing for the Dublin U16 team.

While O’Donnell takes the scoring plaudits, the truth is that the whole Mearnóg team are growing in confidence as each game goes by. Cillian Slevin had a fine game in goals, the Mearnóg defence are hardening up, first touch, passing and striking is much improved and the quick ball into the forwards is reaping huge benefits.
This win leaves Mearnóg level on points with Thomas Davis at the top of division 4 with only scoring difference separating the side.

Mearnóg scorers: Finn O’Donnell (2-16, 0-08 F), Daniel Burns (0-4), Liam Hogan (0-2), Theo Dunne (0-1), Shane Rafter (0-1)
Lucan scorers: James O’Neill (1-7, 1-4 F), Jack Horan (0-2), Ciaran Walker (0-1).

Panel: Cillian Slevin, Ronan O’Brien, Sam Reid, Ethan Fitzgibbon, Patrick Corcoran, Jack Dowley, Louis Burel, Liam Hogan, Theo Dunne, Jack Clarke, Finn O’Donnell, Daragh Fahy, Shane Rafter, Daniel Burns, Oisin Nugent, Thuan Ball, Jack Lawn, Cillian Brennan.

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