Kilmacud Crokes 1-11
Pádraig Pearses 0-8
Kevin Egan reports from Kingspan Breffni Park
KILMACUD CROKES WILL face Kilcoo in the AIB All-Ireland senior club football final in a fortnight’s time as a strong finish helped them overcome the challenge of first-time semi-finalists Pádraig Pearses at Kingspan Breffni Park this evening.
Crokes fired over the final five points of the game after a strong third quarter from the Roscommon side left them well-positioned to challenge before the late flurry of scores.
On four separate occasions, Pádraig Pearses cut their deficit back to a point in the second half but every time Kilmacud Crokes were able to conjure a response.
The Dublin side are now just a win away from lifting their third All Ireland crown after showing admirable resilience in a fiery encounter.
Paul Carey and Niall Daly scores for Pearses helped cut their three-point half-time deficit back to the minimum but both times Crokes found the score they craved. In a tense second half, these well-matched sides traded blows as Tom Butler reduced his side’s deficit to the minimum again but the impressive Shane Horan found the target for the Leinster champions.
A Hubert Darcy score in the 47th minute helped Pearses slash their arrears to a point once more but Paul Carey missed a 45 metre free to level the contest.
This proved to be the last chance for Pearses to mount a comeback as Kilmacud Crokes’ bench made a notable impact. Substitute Cian O’Connor fired over twice before Conor Casey moved the gap out to four, while O’Connor’s burst of pace and Casey’s high fielding ability were also crucial ingredients in the later stages of the contest.
Goalscorer Craig Dias tapped over before Anthony Quinn made sure of the win as Kilmacud Crokes will make the short trip to GAA HQ.
It was Pádraig Pearses who started the quicker with Niall Daly firing over inside the opening 60 seconds. However, despite Kilmacud Crokes enjoying limited possession in the opening stages of this contest, they created the all-important score in the eighth minute.
The Dublin side showed their patience in maintaining control of possession before Hugh Kenny fed Shane Horan, who duly found the onrushing Craig Dias. The midfielder coolly slotted the ball between the legs of the onrushing Pearses goalkeeper Paul Whelan.
Despite Paul Carey tapping over for the Connacht champions, there was a sense that Kilmacud Crokes were getting on top. They held Pearses scoreless for 22 minutes after Carey’s free as their defence frequently cut out any threat with a minimum of fuss.
Hubert Darcy was turned over deep in Crokes territory and the Leinster champions countered at great speed as Dara Mullen fired over. A despairing Niall Daly block from a Shane Cunningham effort prevented Pearses from falling further behind but Kilmacud Crokes were dominating the ball and the game, even if they too were struggling to put scores on the board.
Tom Fox ended a 10 minute scoreless spell for the Dublin side before Callum Pearson fired over, as his side held on to possession for over two minutes before carving out the chance they desired. A Paul Carey free ended Pearses’ scoring drought as Kilmacud led by three points at the break, with both sides bumping shoulders as they ran down the tunnel at the Cavan venue.
Perhaps it was the catalyst for a noted improvement in the quality of the far in the second half, even if the outcome of both periods was the same – Kilmacud outscoring Pearses by
three in both half hour spells.
Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Craig Dias 1-1, Dara Mullen, Shane Horan, Cian O’Connor 0-2 each, Tom Fox (f), Callum Pearson, Conor Casey, Anthony Quinn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Pádraig Pearses: Paul Carey 0-3 (0-2f), Niall Daly, Hubert Darcy (0-1f) 0-2
each, Tom Butler 0-1.
1. Conor Ferris;
2. Michael Mullen, 4. Ross McGowan, 7. Dan O’Brien;
5. Cillian O’Shea, 6. Rory O’Carroll, 3. Andrew McGowan;
8. Ben Shovlin, 9. Craig Dias;
10. Tom Fox, 11. Hugh Kenny, 17. Shane Horan;
13. Callum Pearson, 14. Dara Mullen, 15. Shane Cunningham.
Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.
Become a Member
Subs: 20. Conor Casey for Shovlin, 22. Cian O’Connor for Kenny, 12. Aidan Jones for
Pearson, 18. Anthony Quinn for Fox, 23. Theo Clancy for Horan (60+1).
18.Caelim Keogh, 2. Mark Richardson, 3. Anthony Butler;
5. Conor Lohan, 6. Ronan Daly, 7. David Murray;
8. Niall Daly, 9. Conor Daly;
12. Shane Carty, 11. Niall Carty, 10. Lorcán Daly;
13. Conor Payne, 14. Hubert Darcy, 15. Paul Carey.
Subs: 20. Tom Butler for S Carty, 19. Emmett Kelly for Lohan, 21. Jack Tumulty for L
Daly, 29. Eoin Colleran for Carty, 23. Shane Mulvey for Richardson.
Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)
Buy The42’s new book, Behind The Lines, here: