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Late Drama Sees Kilmacud Crokes Suffer Defeat To Kilcoo In All-Ireland Final

Late Drama Sees Kilmacud Crokes Suffer Defeat To Kilcoo In All-Ireland Final

Sun, 13th February 2022

Kilcoo 2-08 

Kilmacud Crokes 0-13 

(After Extra Time) 

Kilmacud Crokes suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the AIB All-Ireland Club Football Final on Saturday evening, as Kilcoo claimed a late victory after extra time at Croke Park.

The 2021 Go Ahead Dublin Senior Football Champions were leading by two points as the game reached a climax. 

But a late late Jerome Johnston goal gave Kilcoo victory and sealed a first ever All-Ireland title for the Down Champions.

Crokes started the brighter and scores from captain Shane Cunningham and Craig Dias saw them take an early lead.

Kilcoo struggled to turn their opportunities into scores, shooting several wides, with Crokes taking advantage by pulling clear as the half wore on.

Tom Fox, Dara Mullin, Shane Horan and Andy McGowan all added further points for Crokes before half-time, as the Stillorgan men led by 0-08 to 0-02 at the break.

Craig Dias extended that lead even further after the restart with a point, but Kilcoo refused to lay down and responded in style.

Two Paul Devlin frees reduced the gap to five points, before a crucial moment swung the game in Kilcoo’s favour.

Goalkeeper Niall Kane’s ’45 looked to be dropping short, but was deflected into the Crokes net- and suddenly the Crokes lead was just two points heading into the final quarter.

Conor Laverty reduced the gap even further, but Crokes fought back themselves and Cian O’Connor pushed the Dubliners two ahead with six minutes to play.

However two late Paul Devlin points drew Kilcoo level to dramatically bring the tie to Extra Time.

In a tense extra-time opening period, an Anthony Morgan point put Kilcoo ahead for the first time just before half-time.

Cian O’Connor responded for Crokes, however, to leave the sides level at the break.

Robbie Brennan’s men looked the more likely to win it in the second half of extra time- and moved two points clear with five minutes remaining on the clock- thanks to points from Callum Pearson and Cian O’Connor.

But Kilcoo had the final say, hitting the net as the game moved into injury time. Jerome Johnston finishing the move after his brother Ryan’s effort was saved.

That goal proved to be enough to see Kilcoo claim the Andy Merrigan Cup for the first time.

Kilmacud Crokes: Conor Ferris, Michael Mullin, Dan O'Brien, Ross McGowan, Andrew McGowan, Rory O'Carroll, Cillian O'Shea, Ben Shovlin, Craig Dias, Shane Horan, Aidan Jones, Dara Mullin, Hugh Kenny, Shane Cunningham, Tom Fox.

Subs: Cian O'Connor for Tom Fox (42 mins), Conor Casey for Shane Horan (54 mins), Anthony Quinn for Aidan Jones (54 mins), Callum Pearson for Hugh Kenny (54 mins), Conor Kinsella for Craig Dias (61 mins), Theo Clancy for Michael Mullin (Extra Time), Aidan Jones for Ross McGowan (66 mins), Mark O'Leary for Shane Cunningham (70 mins), Shane Horan for Dara Mullin (HT in E/T)

Kilcoo: Niall Kane, Niall Branagan, Ryan McEvoy, Aaron Branagan, Miceál Rooney, Daryl Branagan, Eugene Branagan, Dylan Ward, Aaron Morgan, Shealin Johnston, Jerome Johnston, Ceilum Doherty, Paul Devlin, Ryan Johnston, Conor Laverty.

Subs: Anthony Morgan for Ryan Johnston (35 mins), Ryan Johnston for Shealin Johnston (58 mins), Shealin Johnston for Miceál Rooney (HT of ET), Justin Clarke for Ceilum Doherty (77 mins), Sean Óg McCusker for Jerome Johnston (81 mins).

Kilmacud Crokes scorers: Cian O'Connor 0-03 (0-02f), Shane Horan 0-02, Craig Dias 0-02, Dara Mullin 0-02 (0-1 mark), Shane Cunningham 0-01 (mark), Andrew McGowan 0-01, Tom Fox 0-01 (f), Callum Pearson 0-01.

Kilcoo scorers: Jerome Johnston 1-01, Paul Devlin 0-04 (0-03f), Niall Kane 1-00 (‘45), Conor Laverty 0-02, Anthony Morgan 0-01.

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