KILMACUD CROKES 0-14
BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 0-10
Kilmacud Crokes progressed to the last four of the Go Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Football Championship when overcoming Ballymun Kickhams by four points at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.
The final margin was a fair reflection of the control that the holders exerted for the duration with Kickhams lacking the firepower to unduly trouble their opponents on a concerted basis.
It was a tense and sometimes sloppy opening period with both teams reacquainting themselves with each other as Cian O’Connor opened the scoring in the 2nd minute with a typically well-taken score.
The returning Paddy Small helped mitigate in some respects against the absence of James McCarthy from the Ballymun line-up and he levelled matters in the 9th minute after cutting inside and popping over off his left boot.
A free from Dean Rock edged Kickhams in front and they were indebted to goalkeeper Evan Comerford for snuffing out Rory O’Carroll as he bore down on goal in the 13th minute with Shane Walsh eventually converting from a ‘45’ from the resultant scramble.
Small and Walsh traded points towards the end of the first quarter but as the half evolved, the more assured the holders became as they patiently took control of affairs in that measured way of theirs.
Shane Cunningham and Walsh kicked points to edge Crokes two points clear and they continued to reap reward for their calm probing as Dara Mullin and O’Connor added to their tally towards the end of the half.
Crucially, Ballymun finished the half on a high of sorts as Rock converted a tricky free to leave his side trailing by just three points (0-7 to 0-4) by the interval.
The versatile O’Connor continued to impress upon the restart as he kicked his third point from play in the 32nd minute with a Rock free at the opposite end soon after restoring that three-point buffer.
However, Kilmacud looked more assured and threatening with Paul Mannion clipping over two scores while Rock’s efforts from placed balls never looked likely to sustain the Ballymun effort.
Comerford made another smart save to deny Mark O’Leary but with Walsh adding another couple of scores to compliment an excellent Dan O’Brien point with points from Jason Whelan and John Small proving of mere consolation value for Kickhams by the final whistle.
Scorers – Kilmacud Crokes: S Walsh 0-5 (2 ‘45’, 1f), C O’Connor, P Mannion (2f) 0-3 each, D O’Brien, D Mullin, S Cunningham 0-1 apiece. Ballymun Kickhams: D Rock 0-6 (6f), P Small 0-2, J Whelan, J Small 0-1 apiece.
Kilmacud Crokes: C Ferris; J Murphy, T Clancy, D O’Brien; C O’Connor, A Jones, A McGowan; M O’Leary, R O’Carroll; S Horan, P Mannion, D Mullin; S Walsh, S Cunningham, H Kenny. Subs: L flatman for O’Leary (Blood Sub 42), O’Leary for Horan (50), D Dempsey for Cunningham (58), L Ward for Kenny (58), J Kenny for Walsh (64).
Ballymun Kickhams: E Comerford; G Sheridan, D Conlon, L Young; C Keeley, J Small, D Robertson; D Byrne, A Elliott; A McCaul, P Small, D Keating; R Bolger, C McCormack, D Rock. Subs: F Andrews for McCaul (35), J Whelan for Keating (47), C McManus for Elliott (58), C O’Tighe for Byrne (61).
Referee: Barry Tiernan (O’Dwyer’s)