Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group Two Round Two: Kilmacud Crokes V Craobh Chiarain – The Evening Herald – July 30 2020

Crokes set up to progress after comfortable victory over Craobh




Daire Walsh

KILMACUD Crokes enhanced their Dublin SHC title credentials with an emphatic win at the expense of Craobh Chiarain in a blustery Clonshaugh last night.

With Mark Howard, Ronan Hayes and Alex Considine all in excellent form, Aodan De Paor’s men look assured their spot in the knock-out rounds.

Being on home soil was a bonus for Ger Ryan’s men but with the elements working against them, they were under pressure from the very early moments of the contest. Fionn O Ceallaigh was deputising in the Crokes attack for the suspended Oisin O Rorke and he got the ball rolling with a first-minute point.

This was swiftly followed by unanswered scores courtesy of Howard, Sean McGrath and Caolan Conway to give the visitors a firm stranglehold on the action.

Howard (three), Fergal Whitely, Conway subsequently found the target to propel the rampant Stillorgan troops into a nine-point cushion. Craobh finally opened their account when Stephen Kelly fired over an 19th-minute and an ensuing water break did present the home team with an opportunity to re-shape their focus.

Stephen Kelly and Cian Derwin did increase the Craobh tally when the action resumed, but Crokes continued to play with the greater urgency in attack. Supplementing O Ceallaigh, Howard (two) and Hayes singles, Considine rattled the back of the net to move Kilmacud into an unassailable 1-13 to 0-13 interval cushion.

They remained the dominant force on the restart, despite a noticeable improvement from a determined Craobh. An outstanding Conor Ryan sideline had raised the spirits of the Chiarain faithful and Stephen Kelly also found the range in a decent spell.

Nevertheless, Crokes were in no mood to let up. Whitely split the posts on the run, while Hayes was on hand to cancel out a similar effort by his opposing number Paul Kelly. Indeed, the table-toppers kicked into maximum overdrive for the remainder of the third-quarter.

O Ceallaigh, Whitely and Hayes were once more amongst the scorers as Kilmacud pulled all of 16 points clear. Craobh displayed a commendable spirit as the final whistle approached – four scores in quick succession via the sticks of Stephen Kelly (three) and Derwin significantly reducing their deficit.

However, with O Ceallaigh, Hayes and substitute Seamie Leahy raising white flags, Crokes wrapped up the two points in fine style.

Scorers – Kilmacud Crokes: M Howard 0-6 (3f), R Hayes, F O Ceallaigh 0-4 each, F Whitely 0-3, A Considine 1-0, C Conway 0-2, N O Riordain, S McGrath, S Leahy 0-1 each. Craobh Chiarain: S Kelly 0-6 (4f, 1 ’65), C Derwin 0-3, J Sammon 0-2, C Ryan (s/line), P Kelly 0-1 each.

KILMACUD CROKES: M Collins; B Sheehy, B O’Carroll, S Clinton; N O Riordain, M Grogan, C Mac Gabhann; F Whitely, D Mulligan; M Howard, S McGrath, C Conway; F O Ceallaigh, R Hayes, A Considine. Subs: E Gibbons for O Riordain (9-13), S Kinsella for Conway (44), R O’Carroll for McGrath (55), S Leahy for Whitely (60).

CRAOBH CHIARAIN: S Chester; S O’Brien, E Farrell, Damien O’Reilly; M Hayes, Derek O’Reilly, G Kelly; C Ryan, C Sammon; R Mahon, D Kelly, C Derwin; J Finn, P Kelly, S Kelly.

Subs: F Usanga for D Kelly (40), A Kenny for Derek O’Reilly (41), D Cullen for Damien O’Reilly, J Sammon for Mahon (both 54), S Finnegan for Hayes (55).

Referee: C Mooney (St Patrick’s, Palmerstown).

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