Two from two for Lughnasa

Lughnasa 34

UCC 30

Lughnasa having lost their enigmatic coach Tomas O Branagain have faltered for over 12 months. In contrast, last year UCC surprised everyone when they displayed flair and confidence to beat off most teams in the cup; they narrowly lost to DI in the final by one goal arguably giving the champions the best game of the season. Based on UCCs cup performance and considering Lughnasa finished in the bottom half of the senior league in 2011/12, the expected result would be an odds on victory for UCC. But handball can provide surprising results.

Lughnasa won the early exchanges, and slowly a narrow lead grew.

UCCs main attacking threat, Adrian Maciejewski was eliminated via man-marking. And Alan O’Brien was welcomed back into the fold for Lughnasa (who was missed thru injury for the entire previous season), his impact this will prove to be crucial for the Tallaght based team. At half time the scores stood at 21-13 to Lughnasa. Memories of the DCU upset of the previous week were surely on the minds of both teams. In the second half UCC began to erode Lughnasa’s victory and were on track to  cause and upset. With 15 minutes played, Lughnasa lead be merely 3 an UCC had the momentum.

UCC had taken advantage of the suspensions which weakened Lughnasa’s defence. Despite creating chances, UCC were unable to convert in front of goal and Lughnasa’s narrow lead bounced between 3 and 4 goals as the teams traded goals. With forty seconds to go, UCC may have felt they had a chance at victory or even a draw when three suspensions reduced Lughnasa’s strength. Lughnasa’s final goal came through heir goalkeeper who scored in the final seconds.