Leinster Club SFC: Crokes keep Rhode at bay

January 23, 2011

Kilmacud Crokes players Liam Og O Heineachain and Paddy Duggan celebrate after victory over Rhode in the 2011 Leinster Club SFC final. Picture: INPHO
Kilmacud Crokes 0-15
Rhode 1-7

Kilmacud Crokes survived a few scares to secure their second Leinster senior club football championship in three years at the expense of Rhode on Sunday.

Crokes were missing a host of established inter-county stars, such as Paul Griffin, Niall Corkery and Darren Magee, but they made light of those absences to run out five-point winners against the gallant Offaly men.

A shock looked to be on the cards by the midpoint of the first half, with a Pascal Keelaghan goal helping Rhode to open up a 1-5 to 0-4 advantage.

However, Kilmacud found their stride in the remaining three-quarters of an hour, restricting their opponents to just two points and scoring 11 themselves during that time.

Kilmacud's purple patch came either side of the half-time break, with two points from Kelleher helping to cut the deficit to one at the change of ends (1-5 to 0-7), and they moved three in front on the restart with Brian McGrath, Craig Dias, Adrian Morrissey and Pat Burke all on target.

Rhode certainly didn't go down without a fight, however, with star man Niall McNamee blitzing a shot off the Crokes crossbar with 11 minutes left before he was handed the perfect opportunity to bring his side back into the game with a penalty four minutes from the end.

With Kilmacud leading by 0-13 to 1-6, McNamee had the chance to put just a point between the sides with less than quarter of an hour remaining, but Kilmacud goalkeeper David Nestor produced a dazzling stop to repel the kick, and the ensuing goalmouth scramble resulted in the ball being diverted behind off a Kilmacud body for a 45.

McNamee successfully converted that kick but that was to prove Rhode's final score, and Declan Kelleher and Brian Kavanagh tagged on further scores by the final whistle to extend Crokes' winning advantage.

Kilmacud Crokes: D Nestor; Ross O'Carroll, K Nolan, C Lamb; C O'Sullivan, B McGrath (0-1), R Ryan; P Duggan, C Dias (0-1); L Og O hEineachain (0-1), D Kelleher (0-3), A Morrissey (0-1); P Burke (0-1), B Kavanagh (0-5, 0-4 from frees), M Vaughan (0-2). Subs: B O'Rorke for Morrissey (46), N McGrath for Lamb (57).

Rhode: E McDonald; S Sullivan, B Darby, D Murphy; C Heavey, D Hope (0-1), E Byrne; A McNamee, M Dunne; N Darby (0-2), P Sullivan, A Sullivan (0-1); G O'Connell, P Kellaghan (1-0), N McNamee (0-3, 0-1 from 45). Sub: R Malone for O'Connell (50).

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).

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