The semi-finalists for this year’s Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Football Championship were confirmed this weekend after a quartet of last eight matches took place in Parnell Park across Saturday and Sunday.
First up on the agenda was the meeting of Kilmacud Crokes and Ballymun Kickhams with the holders giving a controlled and disciplined display as they prevailed by 0-14 to 0-10.
There was little to separate the teams initially with the returning Paddy Small scoring two points in the first quarter while Shane Walsh coolly converted a brace of ‘45’s to leave the teams deadlocked at 0-3 apiece by the end of the first quarter.
Crokes assumed control in the second quarter thanks to points from Shane Cunningham, Walsh, Dara Mullin and the influential Cian O’Connor to move 0-7 to 0-4 clear by half-time.
O’Connor’s third point of the day and two Paul Mannion scores extended the Kilmacud advantage early in the second-half and while Dean Rock kicked six frees over the hour for Ballymun, two late points from Walsh saw the champions advance with a fair degree of comfort.
Castleknock were well in the hunt by the end of the first quarter thanks to points from Senan Forker, Tommy McDaniel and Kevin Stephenson but a strong finish to the half that yielded points from Céin D’Arcy, Ryan O’Dwyer and two Colm Basquel frees saw St Enda’s enter the break with an 0-9 to 0-5 advantage.
That momentum was maintained upon the resumption as St Enda’s put further daylight between the teams thanks to Colm Basquel, Warren Egan and Ryan Basquel.
Castleknock fought back with a trio of unanswered points of their own through McDermottroe, Ben Galvin and Rob Shaw to increase the chances of a comeback but their fate was sealed when Ryan Basquel hammered home a penalty in the 49th minute.
On Sunday afternoon, St Jude’s struggled for the large part before finally edging Cuala by 2-11 to 2-10 in a thrilling clash that went right down to the wire.
Con O’Callaghan’s 11th minute goal pushed the Dalkey outfit six point clear but a Darragh Rooney goal eight minutes later helped St Jude’s trim their deficit to two points (1-7 to 1-5 by half-time).
An excellent Niall O’Callaghan goal within three minutes of the resumption saw Cuala regain their control but the free-taking of Rooney, who finished with 1-7 to his name, ensured St Jude’s remained in the hunt.
They restored parity through a Tom Lahiff goal in the 48th minute and held on for a critical win following late points from substitute Alan Connolly and a Rooney free, despite the late dismissal of Ciaran Fitzpatrick.
The remaining semi-final berth went to Raheny, who finished strongly in defeating St Vincent’s by 0-14 to 1-8.
A Tomás Quinn penalty in the 12th minute gave St Vincent’s a much-needed boost but two Cian Ivers points augmented by three frees from goalkeeper Rob Hennelly saw Raheny take a marginal 0-7 to 1-3 lead by half-time.
Brian Talty kicked two crucial points to keep Raheny on the front foot and while Sean Lowry kicked a brace of his own, late points from Darren Lunney and Sean Grenham confirmed a deserved win for Raheny.
The relegation issue was also decided on Saturday afternoon in O’Toole Park with St Sylvester’s and Lucan Sarsfields preserving their SFC1 status for next year following wins over Templeogue Synge Street and Whitehall Colmcille respectively.