Monday 11 December 2017

Crokes to end Saints' run

Vaughan and Mannion to steer Kilmacud home

St Jude’s forward Kevin McManamon. Pic: Sportsfile
St Jude’s forward Kevin McManamon. Pic: Sportsfile

Kilmacud Crokes will enter tonight's match under a degree of pressure to replicate the excellence of their showing when dethroning Ballyboden St Enda's last Saturday week.

That 1-14 to 0-9 victory highlighted the talent at their disposal but St Jude's could offer a greater test of their patience, given the hugely organised defensive structure they enjoy.

The Tymon Park club conceded just four scores in their quarter-final victory against an admittedly limited Clontarf but they possess more than capable defenders in the form of Paul Cunningham, Chris Guckian and Mark Sweeney.

Midfielder Colm Murphy was highly influential that afternoon and his battle with David Campbell at centrefield is one of the key battles to savour tonight.

Jude's have always managed to get the best from their relatively limited resources with their non-show against Na Fianna at the corresponding stage 12 months ago all the more frustrating as a result.

The appear to enjoy a greater attacking threat with Cork-native Niall Coakley on the edge of the square and Diarmuid McLoughlin will add much needed pace inside, whether from the start or if introduced as was the case against Clontarf.

Kilmacud's defence was not only effective in their main duties but also managed to join the attack at regular intervals, as reflected in scores from Andy McGowan, Aidan Jones and the excellent Cillian O'Shea.


That is all the more impressive given Cian O'Sullivan's absence with the Dublin senior expected to miss out again this evening as he continues to recover from a hamstring complaint.

His county colleague Paul Mannion proved highly influential against Ballyboden but it's still an area of the team that needs improving despite the continued excellence of Mark Vaughan, especially from placed balls.

Dublin senior Kevin McManamon will surely be more economical with the chances that come his way but it could be the potency of Vaughan and Mannion at the opposite end that will see Kilmacud Crokes home.

VERDICT: Kilmacud Crokes

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