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Crokes U21 footballers make it back-to-back ‘A’ titles

Crokes U21 footballers make it back-to-back ‘A’ titles

Tue, 20th December 2016

Kilmacud Crokes put in a strong last ten minutes to lift the Dublin U21FC 'A' title for the second year in-a-row when defeating Ballymun Kickhams 0-12 to 0-6 in a wet and windy St Finian's, Newcastle on Tuesday night.

Crokes led 0-5 to 0-4 at the break having playing into the wind and extended their advantage to 0-7 to 0-4 inside six minutes of the restart following points from the impressive duo of Callum Pearson (free) and Cian O'Connor.

However, Ballymun Kickhams rallied back with scores from Paddy Small (free) and Colm Hulton to cut the gap to the minimum, 0-7 to 0-6, with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

The Mun had enjoyed a period of dominance in the middle sector at this stage with Aaron Elliott holding sway at centrefield but Crokes showed good mettle to respond over the conclusion of this well-contested battle to run out six-point victors.

However, full-back Sam Daly protected the danger zone to telling effect while behind him Conor Creasey literally dealt with any creasy ball.

Good play by Cillian O'Shea, one of Crokes most influential players on the night, set up an opportunity which Cian O'Connor converted to break Kickhams' momentum and Tom Fox's excellent point, after Conor Kelly did well to retrieve a ball that looked like it might run out of play, saw Crokes go 0-9 to 0-6 clear.

The last three points of the game all came from the trusty left boot of Callum Pearson (two from play) to see his side to victory.

In the opening half the lively Ryan Swan gave Ballymun an early lead before Cian O'Connor brought the sides level in the sixth minute.

Further points from Conor Kelly and a Pearson free edged Crokes 0-3 to 0-1 clear in the difficult condtions.

Colm Hulton lead by example up front by dragging Paddy Christie's side back into the game with three points in succession (including three frees) to push his side a point in front, 0-4 to 0-3, by the 20th minute.

But crucially Crokes finished the half on the up with scores from Conor Kelly and Cian O'Connor.

SCORERS - Kilmacud Crokes: C Pearson 0-5 (0-3f), C O'Connor 0-4, C Kelly 0-2, T Fox 0-1. Ballymun Kickhams: C Hulton 0-4 (0-2f), R Swan, P Small (0-1f) 0-1 each.

KILMACUD CROKES: K Creasey; S Daly, G English, R Murphy; A Jones, C O'Shea, S Shovlin; B Shovlin, C Casey; T Fox, D O'Brien, A McGowan; C Kelly, C Pearson, C O'Connor. Subs: N Nolan for Murphy (40).
BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: E Comerford; D McArdle, L Young, D O'Brien; E Craig, C Gerrard, T McCaul; A Elliot, R Swan; C Keeley, A Swan, C Deegan; D Keating, P Small, C Hulton. Subs: C O'Tighe for Deegan (ht), C Kavanagh for Keating (45).
REF: P Faughnan (St Patrick's Palmerstown).

Pic: Courtesy Kilmacud Crokes

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