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Dublin: 8°C Monday 8 March 2021

'It’s definitely their day, not ours and we have to take our beating' - Kilmacud salute new Leinster champions

A historic win for Mullinalaghta yesterday in Tullamore.

NO EXCUSES, NO criticism of the referee, no bemoaning of their own display.

Kilmacud Crokes were the overwhelming favourites entering yesterday’s Leinster final but that school of thought was shredded by the underdogs Mullinalaghta.

Cian O'Sullivan tackles Aidan McElligott resulting in a penalty late in the game David Gough awards the crucial late penalty in yesterday's Leinster club final. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

A maiden Leinster senior club title was destined for Longford after the decider in Tullamore and amidst the bitter disappointment, there was no complaints from the Kilmacud Crokes camp.

With a rich tradition at this level, Kilmacud were aiming to land a fifth Leinster senior crown after four final victories (1994, 2005, 2008 and 2010) and claim an 11th title in 16 seasons for Dublin clubs.

But a two-point loss was the outcome they had to absorb.

“To be fair I think Mullinalaghta probably deserved it, we didn’t play well so I don’t think we can have too many complaints really after it,” remarked Kilmacud’s joint manager Robbie Brennan after the game.

“I think we were two or three up with maybe five minutes to go but even as a management we felt we needed another one or two to get the lead to the four in case something like that happened.

“And of course, eggs is eggs it’s going to happen and that’s what happened, they got their patch. Credit to them for taking the opportunities at the end.”

Brennan had no qualms over the awarding of that penalty late in the game.

“No, absolutely not. There were a few other ones that I think Dave might have to take a look at himself as a ref but no we don’t blame (referees). There were two or three incidents, a black card situation, but look I don’t want to be blaming referees.

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“It’s definitely their day, not ours and we have to take our beating. We had our opportunities, we didn’t take them, it’s back to the drawing board and lets go again for next year.”

Stephen Williams dejected after the game A dejected Stephen Williams after Kilmacud Crokes were defeated. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The Kilmacud approach to try to run down the clock in the closing stages rather than push on to extend their advantage proved costly.

“I think that’s probably the mistake – we started trying to hold it instead of doing what we’ve done all year which is go forward with the ball and attack. And for whatever reason we reverted back to type, which we had been doing probably for the last three, more of a defensive game, keep ball, go backwards with it.

“We reverted back to that for some strange reason and it caught us, played sloppily towards the end of the game. Particularly with the breeze in the second half we had opportunities where we could have scored. I think there were probably a couple of situations where we had frees and we didn’t get them.

Mullinalaghta Mullinalaghta's Patrick Fox celebrates their win. Source: Instagram -


“We just couldn’t get that rhythm going that we normally have. Again, credit to Mullinalaghta for that because they got bodies back behind the ball and made it very difficult for us.

“It was tricky to get a rhythm, the day itself made it difficult with the playing conditions, we were hoping for more rhythm in the second half but it just didn’t come.”

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