Kilmacud crowned kings of underage.
Tuesday November 17 2009
KILMACUD CROKES …………. 2-11
ST VINCENT’S ……………….. 2-6
A Dublin Minor ‘A’ Hurling Championship final that turned in a click of a finger in Parnell Park on Sunday morning.
Two goals in a minute deep in the second half saw the title heading out the gate to Stillorgan.
The pre-match whispers favoured Crokes. Halpin’s heroes have a rich championship pedigree, but they had to work for this one.
For most of the hour Vincent’s were very much in the mix, but the second of those goals left them trailing by eight points with six minutes left. They contributed generously to the spectacle. There was plenty of earnest hurling, and some fine scores.
A sideline from St Vincent’s Kevin Lillis was one of the best. And there was another nugget from his colleague John Hetherton, son of the great ‘Hedgo’.
The Marino marvels will quickly banish the disappointment of defeat. They play Ballyboden St Enda’s next week for the league title. Vins have already collected the football league crown.
Taking the scoring honours at the Dublin HQ was Seán McGrath, a darting, elusive corner forward that is always on the scent of crumbs.
The Crokes defending was solid. And they have a fine keeper in Eoin Dalton, who made a brilliant 21st-minute save at the scoreboard end.
The hard-working Thomas Connolly placed Eddie Manning, whose belter of a shot saw Dalton produce a spectacular diving save.
It was a crucial stop. Vincent’s already had a goal in the bank, the opening score in the fourth minute. A long Ciarán Harney free landed right in front of the Kilmacud castle and it proceeded to dodge all timber before tumbling into the basket.
“That was a bad start for us,” remarked Stillorgan mentor Kevin Coakley. “But we pegged it back well and being level at half-time was pretty satisfactory from our point of view.
The sun shone on Donnycarney and the pitch, despite all the weekend rain, was in excellent order. Groundsman Noel Brady is on his way to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Vincent’s led for most of the first half, which was level twice. McGrath’s free tied it up at the break, 1-3 to 0-6.
Crokes took the lead for the first time with another McGrath free five minutes into the second half, and their captain Bill O’Carroll landed a gem. The older brothers Ross and Rory would have been proud.
Two Connolly points brought equality once more. McGrath converted two on the spin. Nothing in it: 0-10 to 1-5 for Kilmacud.
McGrath then struck for the crucial goal. Eddie O’Byrne’s shot was blocked back out and McGrath pounced on the rebound to steer the sliotar inside the left-hand post.
He was involved in the second goal as well as he received a pass from the effective Naomhán ó Riordáin wide on the left. Seán sent over a cross which brought a crisp finish from Jude Sweeney.
All over? But back came Vincent’s to nick a goal two minutes from the end, a kicked effort through the traffic from Dermot Kinahan.
Dublin County Board chairman Gerry Harrington presented the trophy to brilliant Bill. And the Kilmacud river flows on — championship winners at under-14, U15, U16 and minor, not forgetting the National Féile.
There’s just so much quality stock out at the Stillorgan Shopping Centre. They are building towards a very bright future at senior level.
– Niall Scully