Kilmacud Crokes 2-8
Fintan O’Toole reports from Parnell Park
PAUL MANNION AND Cian O’Sullivan provided key leadership as Kilmacud Crokes knocked out last year’s beaten finalists Castleknock in the Dublin senior football championship tonight.
The All-Ireland winning duo came good at a vital juncture for their side with O’Sullivan helping to anchor the defence as they protected a winning position while Mannion finished the game with 1-4 to his credit.
Mannion hit a terrific goal in the 14th minute when he crowned a mazy run with a right-foot finish to the roof of the net and then he clipped over four frees in the second half as Kilmacud did just enough to stave off a tenacious Castleknock challenge.
Pat Burke also raised an early green flag for Kilmacud, drilling a low shot to the net six minutes in when he was alert to gather an underhit point effort by Mark Vaughan and convert.
Mannion’s goal nudged Kilmacud in front 2-1 to 0-2 but then Castleknock stamped their authority on the game with Graham Hannigan, Shane Boland and Ciarán Kilkenny all influential.
By the interval they were a single point adrift, 2-2 to 1-4, with James Sherry palming home a delivery from Kevin Kindlon for their goal in the 26th minute.
Seamus O’Carroll and Shane Boland flighted over excellent points for Castleknock early in the second half with Callum Pearson scoring a stylish effort for Kilmacud in between.
The sides were deadlocked, 2-3 to 1-6, before Mannion started to have a major impact. With Vaughan substituted he stepped up to assume free-taking responsibilites and three in succession provided Kilmacud with a healthy advantage as the match entered the finale.
Castleknock summoned a superb response. Colin Lynch converted a free before Limerick’s Seamus O’Carroll illustrated his worth with a pair of fine efforts from play.
The teams were level once more but Kilmacud found inspiration with the experienced Burke kicking them in front before they could have wrapped up the match but Ross McGowan’s shot struck the butt of the upright.
Play was then called back for a previous foul in that move and Mannion slotted the resultant free to create a valuable two-point gap. Castleknock poured forward late on but Kilkenny slammed a late close-range free over the bar when faced with a packed goalmouth and Kilmacud held on for a cherished success.
Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Paul Mannion 1-4 (0-4f), Pat Burke 1-1, Shane Cunningham, Callum Pearson, Mark Vaughan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Castleknock: Séamus O’Carroll 0-4, James Sherry 1-0, Dessie Carlos 0-2 (0-1f), Ciarán Kilkenny (0-1f), Colin Lynch (0-1f), Shane Boland, Graham Hanningan 0-1 each.
1. David Nestor
2. James Murphy
6. Ross O’Carroll
4. Cillian O’Shea
12. Andrew McGowan
3. Cian O’Sullivan
7. Ross McGowan
8. Conor Casey
9. Pat Duggan
20. Shane Horan
11. Paul Mannion
10. Shane Cunningham
13. Callum Pearson
14. Mark Vaughan
15. Pat Burke
21. Kevin Dyas for Vaughan (38)
22. Cian O’Connor for Horan (40)
18. Craig Dias for Duggan (40)
5. Aidan Jones for Cunningham (43)
1. Morven Connolly
18. Jack King
2. Tom Quinn
4. Rob Shaw
5. Thomas Shields
3. Graham Hannigan
15. Colin Lynch
14. Ciaran Kilkenny
9. James Sherry
10. Dessie Carlos
6. Shane Boland
7. Peter Sherry
13. Séamus O’Carroll
11. Ben Galvin
12. Kevin Kindlon
19. Matt Griffin for Kindlon (46)
21. John Kindlon for Galvin (51)
20. Paul Bourke for Hannigan (inj) (63)
Referee: Darragh Sheppard
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