Friday 14 December 2018

Crokes' killer 'B's topple brave setanta

KILMACUD CROKES........................ 1-16 SETANTA................................... 0-14

Scorers - Kilmacud Crokes: B O Leidhin 0-5, M Coughlan 1-2, F Armstrong (2f), L McMullan, T Clarke 0-2 each, C Sheehan, D McGovern, M Geraghty 0-1 each. Setanta: G Magner 0-5 (4f), S O Riain 0-2, D Memery, D Breathnach, D De Burca, E O Falluin, L O Ceallaigh, J O Buachalla, D O Cuilin 0-1 each.

KILMACUD CROKES: S Garvey; S McNicholas, E Doherty, L Og O hEineachain; A De Paor, B Hanamy, R Walsh; G McMorrow, L McMullan; C Sheehan, M Coughlan, F Armstrong; D McGovern, B O Leidhin, T Clarke.

Subs: M Geraghty for Clarke (38), D Byrne for Doherty (43), A Pilkington for McGovern (50), M McCallion for Sheehan (53), S Beale for McMorrow (59).

SETANTA: D Renihan; L MacRistaird, D Kearns, F O Ceallaigh; G Magner, C Breathnach, S MacDiarmada; D Memery, D Breathnach; D De Burca, E O Falluin, S O Riain; L O Ceallaigh, J O Buachalla, C O Falluin.

Subs: D O Cuilin for L O Ceallaigh (38), C Memery for O Buachalla (43), A Ceitinn for D Breathnach (54).

MENTORS - Kilmacud Crokes: G McGrath, B Noctor, M Hynes. Setanta: C Rourke, J Connaty, E McGibb, S McStay.

Referee: Philip Carr (Round Towers Clondalkin).

WIDES - Kilmacud Crokes: 12 (10+2). Setanta: 11 (7+4).

CONDITIONS: Cloudy throughout, but dry and warm weather as well.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Barrai O Leidhin (Kilmacud Crokes).

The central attacking duo of Mark Coughlan and Barraí Ó Leidhin were the key figures in Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon, as Kilmacud Crokes held off a spirited challenge from Setanta to secure the Dublin Senior 'B' Championship title.

The Ballymun outfit's place in next year's 'A' grade had already been assured prior to throw-in, and following their victorious journey through the 2013 Intermediate Championship, it is clear that Colm Rourke's men are one of the most improved club sides in the capital.

Indeed, they kept within touching distance of their Stillorgan opponents for large spells, but with Coughlan and O Leidhin contributing a combined tally of 1-7, Crokes always had that little bit extra in reserve.

The influential Coughlan is well-known for his prowess on the football field, and was one of several dual players on show in this second-tier finale.

The most notable of these was former county star Liam Óg Ó hEineacháin, while the vastly-experienced Darren Magee was also a member of their panel on the day.

It was dependable half-forward Fergal Armstrong who got their account under way, though, and his opening minute point from a 60 metre placed-ball was swiftly added to by the lively Ó Leidhin.

Setanta were struggling to deliver quality ball into their forward line during the early exchanges, but they eventually raised a white flag through Lucas Ó Ceallaigh (free) seven minutes into the contest.

A breathtaking point on the run courtesy of midfielder Lorcan McMullan quickly restored Crokes' two-point advantage, before a massive score from distance by half-back Gearóid Magner served notice of Setanta's stomach for the fight.

A sharp move by the Crokes attack led to a fine score from inside forward Tom Clarke, but Setanta contributions from wing-forwards Seán Ó Riain and Dara De Búrca subsequently levelled matters for the first time.

Kilmacud had been wasteful with the opportunities that came their way up to this point, but as the half wore on, the pace and power they were exerting around the middle-third started to pay dividends.

Ó Leidhin's hard-earned point helped Crokes to regain the lead on the stroke of 20 minutes, and thanks to further scores without reply through the sticks of Donal McGovern, Coughlan, Ó Leidhin, McMullan, Conor Sheehan and Clarke, they had created significant daylight between the sides.

With a seven-point buffer (0-11 to 0-4) at their disposal, Crokes were firmly in command of their own destiny as the action resumed.

Yet, Setanta had benefited greatly from the half-time break, and even though Crokes added points through ó Leidhin and Armstrong, a brace of Magner scores, alongside one apiece from Eric ó Fallúin, Jason Ó Buachalla and Ó Riain, reduced the deficit to four.

Crokes were well aware of the danger that come with complacency, though, and after receiving an excellent pass inside the cover on 41 minutes, Coughlan found the net in clinical fashion from a left-hand angle.

Ó Leidhin's fifth of the day inside the closing quarter - in response to Dean Ó Cuilin and Donal Breathnach scores for Setanta - had put Crokes back into cruise control, but as the final whistle beckoned, they did start to take their foot off the gas.

Magner was an inspirational figure for Setanta, and his eye-catching brace preceded a Dean Memery point to leave a goal between themselves and their southside counterparts.

Yet, this was as close as they came to forging an unlikely comeback, and late scores from Matthew Geraghty and the excellent Coughlan eased Crokes towards a well-deserved triumph.

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