KILMACUD CROKES 0-23 RATHDOWNEY ERRILL (Laois) 0-22
Kilmacud Crokes kept their winning streak going when they edged out Laois champions, Rathdowney Errill, after extra-time in Sunday’s AIB Leinster Club SHC quarter-final at Parnell Park.
Crokes captain, Seán McGrath, was their scorer-in-chief as his deadball accuracy saw Ollie Baker’s men to victory.
McGrath finished with a personal tally of 0-15 (13f, 0-1 ‘65’) with his three scores in extra time eventually settling this titanic duel.
Crokes might have sealed victory in normal time when they led by four with six minutes remaining but were hit by a late rally from Rathdowney Errill who were led by Ross King, who hit 0-13.
It was evenly balanced for the outset with the sides level five times up to 0-6 apiece after 22 minutes.
But as Crokes upped the pressure they finally put some significant daylight between the sides and held a four-point half-time advantage, 0-11 to 0-7.
McGrath was their key man and helped himself to nine points in the first-half, eight from frees.
He also contributed from open play also as he opened the way for Barry O’Rorke’s point.
Rathdowney looked to their own free-taker, full-forward King, to lead them in attack. He shot five first-half points with four of those coming from placed balls.
The Laois men raised their game on the restart and by the tenth minute of the second half Crokes had lost both wing-backs, Bill O’Carroll and Cian Mac Gabhann, to injury.
King continued to be their talisman with four more important points while Tadhg Dowling picked off two to leave Crokes just 0-14 to 0-13 ahead.
Crokes thought they’d finally took control off the game with three points on the trot to lead 0-17 to 0-13 with 54 minutes on the clock.
But Rathdowney points from Ross and Darren King and another from Purcell tied up at 0-17 apiece and forced extra-time.
McGrath added three more converted frees while Ross O’Carroll opened his account with a point.
And despite being outscored by 0-3 to 0-2 in the second-half of extra-time the Glenalbyn men held on to progress to the province’s last four.
SCORERS – Kilmacud Crokes: S McGrath 0-15 (0-13f, 0-1 ‘65’),C Conway 0-3 (0-1f), B O’Rorke, R O’Dwyer, D Kelly, C Clinton, Ross O’Carroll 0-1 each. Rathdowney/Errill: R King 0-13 (0-9f, 0-1 ‘65’), P Purcell, J Purcell, T Dowling 0-2 each, D King, E Burke, E Meagher 0-1 each.
KILMACUD CROKES: M Collins; N Corcoran, Rory O’Carroll, J Clinton; C MacGabhann, J Dougan, B O’Carroll; D Mulligan, D Kelly; Ross O’Carroll, R O’Dwyer, J Sweeney; C Conway, S McGrath, B O’Rorke. Subs: R Murphy for B O’Carroll (40, inj), B Mulligan for MacGabhann (40, inj), O O’Rorke for B O’Rorke (48), C Rafferty for Sweeney (55), C Clinton for Mulligan (70), B O’Leidhlin for Mulligan (75), J Burke for McGrath (76, inj).
RATHDOWNEY/ERRILL: N Brennan; A Delaney, B Campion, J Corrigan; J Fitzpatrick, P Mahon, L O’Connell; S Dollard, P Purcell; J Purcell, J Ryan, E Meagher; M Kavanagh, R King, T Dowling. Subs: D Bowe for J Ryan (37), D King for Meagher (ht), L Tynan for Kavanagh (57), E Meagher for Tynan (et), M Kavanagh for King (70), E Burke for Bowe (70).
REF: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).