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Monday 11 December 2017

Kilmacud fightback lost cause for jude's

Crokes claim sixth Dublin SHC title after extra time win

FACING the endlessly bleak situation of trailing a county final by two points in injury-time last night in Parnell Park, Kilmacud Crokes did what they do best.

They dogged it out. Somehow.

Two points behind St Jude's, themselves very clearly ravenous with that hunger that comes from being in a first county decider and buoyed by a somewhat unexpected dominance of the second half, with just whatever the referee decided might need to be added on in which to salvage a Dublin SHC title.

But they did.

And Ollie Baker's team took a sxith title for the club by 2-16 to 1-15 over a Jude's team for whom absolutely no solace will be derived from the fact that prior to that eventful period extra-time, they were arguably the better team.

buried

Because Crokes looked buried in normal time. Yet they had the big men for the big moments.

Ger Cunningham was there, naturally. But whether he excavated much more than Anthony Daly managed to mine is open to question.

But that's just an aside.

Because at one stage, Jude's looked as though they'd win their first county county on the back of Danny Sutcliffe's already accepted brilliance, Fionn Ó Riain Broin's free-taking and whole pile of toil and effort from everyone else.

Then Ross O'Carroll buried a Nicky English-style volley to level...but Jude's went back two ahead.

Here comes the ballsy bit.

Seán McGrath nailed a '65 and with almost the last puck, Crokes centre-forward Damien Kelly forced the extra-time almost no one in Parnell Park thought was scheduled.

Therein, the cliché about the team with the greater experience doing their stuff in extra-time transpired. Eventually.

Crokes who, to be fair, had 11 scorers to Jude's five, clipped two to sew some doubt into their opponent's resolve but the killer was Ross O'Carroll.

He produced a brilliant catch from a Matt Collins puck out and raced into a gap, then put McGrath in.

The rest was both predictable and deadly.

Jude's rallied but the game was gone. And their pain will be knowing that they almost had it sealed inside the hour.

Sutcliffe was a most obvious threat.

Notably, his right hand still bore the bandages of the metacarpal injuries which ruined his summer but Sutcliffe won two huge puck outs in the first half and was fouled for two converted frees and in a first half that finished just five points apiece, each intervention was vital.

Crokes were a little unlucky that some of their own attacking endeavours finished free-less but they certainly had a more score worthy attack.

Caolan Conway scored a belter, while Oisín O'Rorke, Barry O'Rorke and Seán McGrath each pointed from play although the younger O'Rorke brother was replaced just before half-time.

billing

Importantly for Jude's, given last night was their first appearance in a Dublin final and their relatively lowly billing before the competition commenced, they kept it tight.

Typically, Ryan O'Dwyer was centrally involved in both the rough and the tumble of the first half but such was the attentiveness of the Jude's defence, his influence never really soared.

Ditto Ross O'Carroll, until he was needed.

And while McGrath tried hard on the edge of the square, Ger McManus's physical methods of prevention prevailed.

That was as good as Jude's had it though. And Crokes took the title.

SCORERS: Kilmacud Crokes: S McGrath 1-6 (4f, 1 '65), Ross O'Carroll 1-0, R O'Dwyer 0-2, D Kelly, C Conway, O O'Rorke, B O'Rorke, J Sweeney, D Mulligan, J Burke 0-1 each. . St Jude's: F Ó Riain Broin 0-10 (9f), D Sutcliffe 0-3, P Maguire 1-0 (f), J McManus, R Joyce 0-1 each.

KILMACUD CROKES: M Collins; J Clinton, Rory O'Carroll, N Corcoran; C MacGabhann, J Doughan, B O'Carroll; D Mulligan, D Kelly, C Conway, R O'Dwyer, Ross O'Carroll; O O'Rorke, S McGrath, B O'Rorke. Subs: J Sweeney for O O'Rorke (28), J Burke for Conway (47), R O'Loughlin for Rory O'Carroll (48), B Ó Leidhlin for B O'Rorke (57), B Mulligan for B O'Carroll (ET), C Clinton for Mulligan (74) R Walsh for Kelly (81).

ST JUDE'S: G Nolan; E McLoughlin, G McManus, C Mangan; R Hardy, A O'Beirne, R O'Brian; P Maguire, N Mangan; R Joyce, D Sutcliffe, M McGuire; F Ó Riain Broin, T Devlin, J McManus. Subs: J Ryan for McGuire (35), S Larkin for O'Brien (47), P Aylward for Mangan (54), A McGovern for McManus (58)

REF: D Harrington (Naomh Mearnóg)

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