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First-half goals key as Kilmacud see off Ballyboden to reach first Dublin final since 2012

They’ll face the winners of tomorrow’s semi-final between St Vincent’s and St Judes.

Cian O'Sullivan returned from injury to star for Kilmacud Crokes
Cian O'Sullivan returned from injury to star for Kilmacud Crokes
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Kilmacud Crokes 2-9

Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-9

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

KILMACUD CROKES ARE back in their first Dublin SFC final since 2012 after an easier than expected six-point win over Ballyboden St Enda’s in tonight’s last four meeting.

The Stillorgan-based outfit lost that decider six years ago to Ballymun Kickhams and haven’t been crowned champions since 2010.

In the battle of the south-side superclubs, Kilmacud’s win over 2016 All-Ireland club champions was well deserved. They’ll face the winners of tomorrow’s clash between St Vincent’s and St Judes in the final.

It’s been a big week for Kilmacud after their senior hurlers dumped All-Ireland champions Cuala out in the Dublin semi-final last Sunday.

This was a low-scoring game where both sides regularly defended with 12 men behind the ball. Kilmacud’s two first-half goals, scored by Craig Dias and Shane Horan, were vital but very avoidable from a Ballyboden point of view.

Both times, ‘Boden looked well set-up at the back but Crokes runners were allowed cut through the middle of the defence to raise green flags. With a six-point half-time lead, Kilmacud were happy to play a possession game in the second period and counter-attack at pace.

Craig Dias Kilmacud Crokes goalscoree Craig Dias Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

They held Ballyboden to two points from play in the latter half and with Cian O’Sullivan back from injury to man the centre of defence, they never looked in danger of conceding a goal late on.

Kilmacud, who are co-managed by Robbie Brennan and Johnny Magee, are an extremely well-drilled outfit. They used plenty of kick-out routines and kept lots of width in their attacks, although their shooting let them down at times.

Within 65 seconds of the throw-in, Kilmacud had the ball in the net for the first time with Dara Mullin setting up Craig Dias for the close-range finish. Ballyboden were back on level terms by the 17th minute, after a brace of frees from Ryan Basquel and a score from Robbie McDaid.

Mannion slotted over a free but Kilmacud were having difficulties breaking down the Ballyboden rearguard. They went 24 first-half minutes without a score from play, but a strong finish left them in control at the break. 

Horan stole in for a fine individual goal in the 26th minute, which arrived either side of scores from Andrew McGowan and Mullin. Ballyboden would have been closer had Michael Darragh Macauley’s thunderous shot gone in instead of crashing off the crossbar.

Ballyboden sprang 2017 Dublin minor star Ross McGarry off the bench at the interval, but he had little impact and his side took 13 minutes to register a score in the second-half 

Shane Cunningham and Mannion (free) extended the Kilmacud lead to seven, which might have been more had they not kicked four wides. A brace of frees each from the Basquel brothers reduced the gap, but a booming placed ball from Mannion kept Kilmacud 2-7 to 0-9 clear.

As Ballyboden chased a late goal, Kilmacud sealed the win with two final scores through O’Connor and McGowan.

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Paul Mannion 0-3 (0-3f), Craig Dias and Shane Horan 1-0 each, Andrew McGowan and Cian O’Connor (0-2f) 0-2 each, Shane Cunningham and Dara Mullin 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Colm Basquel 0-4 (0-3f), Ryan Basquel 0-4 (0-3f), Robbie McDaid 0-1.

Ballyboden St Enda’s 

1. Darragh Gogan
22.Bob Dwan
3. Cathal Flaherty
4. Shane Clayton

12. Sean Gibbons
6. Darragh Nelson
7. Aran Waters

8. Michael Darragh Macauley
9. Declan O’Mahony

10. Darren O’Reilly
13. Conal Keaney
5. Robbie McDaid

11. Colm Basquel
14. Ryan Basquel
25. Alan Flood 

Subs

2. Shane Durkin fo Dwan (22)
15. Ross McGarry for Alan Flood (ht)
20. Donogh McCane for O’Mahony (44)
17. Sam Molony for O’Reilly (50)
19. Tom Hannifin for Gibbons (53)
23. James Holland for McDaid (60).

Kilmacud Crokes

1. David Nestor

2. Liam Flatman
3. Andrew McGowan
19. Cillian O’Shea 

5. Cian O’Connor
18. Cian O’Sullivan
12. Shane Horan

8. Craig Dias
9. Conor Casey 
12.Sean Gibbons
10.Shane Cunningham
14.Dara Mullin 

11. Paul Mannion
15. Callum Pearson
13. Pat Burke

Subs

27. Tom Fox for Burke (52)
28. Kevin Dyas for Horan (58)
26. Stephen Williams for Cunningham (60)
23. Kevin Dias for Craig Dias (63).

Referee: Darragh Sheppard 

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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