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Hard work has paid off for Crokes

Kilmacud Crokes manager Robbie Behan was quick to praise the efforts of his team following their noteworthy success over Ballyboden St Enda's in their U16FL Division 1 final last Saturday.

Behan had seen his team fall to their local rivals in the 'A' Championship decider earlier in the year but the manner in which his team has responded to that setback has been the most encouraging aspect of their season.

"I think the lads have been great to bounce back after the disappointment of that defeat and I suppose the fact that we beat Ballyboden today added to our satisfaction," he said.

"We were competitive for the first three quarters of the county final but struggled in the closing stages so we knew that we had to go back and train even harder and that is exactly what we have done.

"I think the lads have highlighted their character by winning eight games on the bounce after losing the county final and we have just built up a nice bit of momentum over the summer and autumn," said Behan.

The quality inherent in Kilmacud's display on Saturday was a huge feather in Behan's cap as Crokes seized the initiative from the outset.

Despite the less than favourable conditions, Crokes made very few errors over the course of a dominant first-half showing, a fact that was especially pleasing to Behan.

"I thought our first half performance was excellent as we maintained the momentum from our semi-final win over Clontarf the previous week," said Robbie.

"Our passing was very good throughout and the execution of our skills was at the level that we aspire to and it was very encouraging to witness all the work that we have put in at training bearing fruition out on the pitch," he added.

Another positive for Behan and his management team of Cuán Ó Flaithearta and John O'Callaghan to derive from last Saturday's victory was the manner in which their charges regained their composure despite conceding two late goals to their opponents.

Many teams could well have buckled after seeing a decent lead evaporate but Crokes had the necessary calmness to refocus and ensure their deserved win.

"I think it would have been easy for the lads in some respects to let their heads drop and start feeling sorry for themselves," he said.

"However, we have impressed upon them that they will always create enough chances over the course of the game and not to panic in those situations.

"Ballyboden have been the benchmark so to win out there was very pleasing as we look to develop these lads in the coming years."


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