DUBLIN SFC1 GROUP 1
KILMACUD CROKES 1-12 NA FIANNA 0-9
Kilmacud Crokes showed the mark of champions to see off Na Fianna by six points in Wednesday night’s Dublin SFC1 Group 1 clash at Parnell Park.
Crokes turned the screw for two spells in each half, particularly early in the second half, and got the scoring returns during these passages which carried them to victory.
Na Fianna, for their part, were left to wonder what might have been as the tireless James Doran hit the crossbar, once in each half, while Conor McHugh blazed wide from close range and Alisdar Fitzgerald drew a fine save from David Nestor early in the second half.
The reigning champions settled quickly with a stylish point from Callum Pearson while Paul Mannion converted two difficult early frees.
Points from Conor McHugh and David Lacey had Na Fianna on level terms by the 16th minute before Crokes struck for the crucial score of the contest four minutes later.
Callum Pearson off-loaded to Pat Burke and he clinically rifled to the roof of Stephen Murray’s net.
The St Mobhi Road men battled back with scores from Aaron Byrne (two) and a McHugh free but it was Crokes, with Craig Dias a powerful presence at midfield, who finished the half on the up with scores from Burke (free) and Shane Cunningham, with the fist, after Na Fianna keeper Murray had done very well to deny Burke his second goal to lead 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval.
In added time in the first half a point effort drifting wide from Aaron Byrne was collected by James Doran who created space but his goal effort cannoned off of David Nestor's crossbar.
Crucially it was Crokes who carried the fight immediately on the resumption with two points from Shane Horan and during this period Kilmacud made their physical advantage count.
Burke and half-time sub Ciaran Russell tagged on points to give Crokes a cushion before Fitzgerald tested Nestor from 14 metres.
Inside the concluding ten minutes a Burke free pushed Crokes 1-11 to 0-7 clear.
Na Fianna put on a lot of pressure late on but couldn’t work the goal they required if they were to produce a dramatic finish. They face Ballymun Kickhams in their remaining Group game while Crokes play St Sylvester’s.
SCORERS – Kilmacud Crokes: P Burke 1-4 (0-3f), P Mannion (0-2f), S Horan 0-2 each, C O’Connor, S Cunningham, C Pearson, C Russell 0-1 each. Na Fianna: C McHugh 0-3 (0-2f), D Deegan (0-1f), A Byrne 0-2 each, K Deeley, D Lacey 0-1 each.
KILMACUD CROKES: D Nestor; N Nolan, Rory O’Carroll, C O’Shea; C O’Connor, C O’Sullivan, A McGowan; C Dias, C Casey; S Horan, S Cunningham, C Pearson; P Mannion, D Mullin, P Burke. Subs: C Russell for Nolan (ht), D O’Brien for Horan (46), S Williams for Cunningham (53), A Jones for Casey (57), T Fox for Pearson (62), Ross O’Carroll for Burke (66).
NA FIANNA: S Murray; E Mullen, A Farrell, D Kennedy; Dean Ryan, J Cooper, N McGovern; K Deeley, J Lawless; G O’Reilly, J Doran, A Fitzgerald; A Byrne, C McHugh, D Lacey. Subs: E Murchan for O’Reilly (38), S Caffrey for Lacey (38), M Deegan for Fitzgerald (47), Donal Ryan for Lawless (53), E O’Dea for Dean Ryan (57), D Quinn for Doran (61).
REF: D O’Connor (Nh Mearnog).