By Patrick Keane.
Two Des O’Malley penalties gave Lancashire victory over London on Sunday, and set them on the road to retaining their provincial title.
Playing fast and frenetic football, both sides had their moments in an action packed match, which was a replay of last year’s final.
Played in front of a packed out crowd at the Pairc na hEireann in Birmingham, the game itself was end-to-end with Lancashire just having more in the gas tank in the final moments. The deciding factor was the form O’Malley, who was simply unplayable at times.
It was noticeable that Lancashire were missing their powerhouse forward Liam Coyne, who was side-lined with a leg injury, but taking his place was Ross Nolan, who did a fine job of holding up the play throughout.
As the opening whistle sounded, London tore forward in numbers, pressuring and harrowing every second ball in the middle of the park. They got their just rewards with two early points from Liam Gavigan and a well-executed free from Mark Kelly.
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