Raheny rally to sink Crokes
A storming second-half display from Raheny proved telling as the Dublin 5 club overcame Kilmacud Crokes 2-17 to 3-7 in their high-quality Minor 'C Final at Chanel on Sunday.
From the opening whistle, both sides adopted an offensive game plan, with the large crowd gathered privileged to witness an absorbing affair.
That Raheny ultimately prevailed was down to their exceptional point-taking in the second half as they turned on the style to eventually pull clear of their battling opponents.
Raheny's scoring prowess was evident as they raced out of the blocks, with Brian Howard showcasing his talents with a typically classy attacking display from midfield.
Luke Bennett and Darren Byrne struck priceless goals for the winners in that enterprising opening quarter, but Kilmacud responded in admirable fashion as their own vibrant forward line kicked into gear.
Michael Crowley and Gavin McDermott kicked points as the half progressed and their chances were increased as full-forward Kevin Creasey displayed wonderful predatory instincts when firing home a sumptuous goal in the 20th minute.
Within five minutes, Creasey was again on target with a clinical first-time finish that ensured his side, for whom David Murphy, John McDonald, Peter Linehan and Niall Kelly all impressed, trailed by just a point at half-time.
Unfortunately for Crokes, they struggled to repeat their heroics after the break, with Raheny gradually seizing control through the defensive excellence of James Keane, Eric Mullen and James O'Kane.
They provided the platform for Raheny to mount a sustained assault on the Kilmacud goal, with Bennett, Brian Arthur, Roy Lunney, Kevin Doran and Danny Reid all adding points.
Despite Barney Sultan netting for Crokes, it proved of cosmetic value as Howard, Chris McElheney, Byrne and O'Kane kicked inspirational scores to see their side home by seven points.
"It is a huge win for the club," said Raheny manager Brendan Flaherty, who manages the team alongside Colm Arthur, Tommy Fleming, Mick Harford and Ronan Leech.
"We beat St Oliver Plunkett's/ Eoghan Ruadh in the quarter final and that was the making of the team.
"We followed that up when beating Ballyboden St Enda's in the semi-final and we've shown gradual improvement all the way," added Flaherty.
Raheny: David Cleary; Eric Mullen, James Keane, Conor Flaherty; Roy Lunney, James O'Kane, Chris McElheney; Brian Howard, Andrew Keane; Kevin Doran, Darren Byrne, Mark Kirby; Brian Arthur, Danny Reid, Luke Bennett. Subs: Marc Bossonet, Evan Cummiskey, James Fisher, Declan Fleming, Dan Gordon, Darragh Harford, Steo Kenny, Jay Collier, Conor Lowry, Eoin Leech, Laurynas Liutvaitis.
Kilmacud Crokes: David Murphy; Jack Farrelly, John McDonald, Alfie O'Sullivan; Peter Linehan, Harry Kelly, Richard Mulholland; Des Dagg, Paul Comerford; Niall Kelly, Adam Brennan, Michael Crowley; Gavin McDermott, Kevin Creasey, Barney Sultan. Subs: Conor Doran, Peter Herlihy, Ben Shovlin, Adam O'Neill, Oisín Doherty, Ruairí Geraghty, Peter Moloney, Leo Mulrooney, Andrew Wade, John Egan, Kevin Culligan, Fintan Jordan, Liam Lundon, Barry O'Sullivan, Seán Ryan, Conor Lyndon.