CROKES U14 HURLERS OVERCOME LUCAN TO GAIN FINAL SHOWDOWN WITH ‘BODEN!
CROKES U14 HURLERS OVERCOME LUCAN TO GAIN FINAL SHOWDOWN WITH ‘BODEN! (Match report by Diarmuid Coogan.)
KILMACUD CROKES U14A 2-12 LUCAN SARSFIELDS 1-5
On Saturday October 9th, Kilmacud Crokes u14As showed great character and skill in overcoming a strong Lucan outfit to qualify for the Division 1 Cup Final V rivals Ballyboden on Saturday 30th October.
Playing with the aid of a strong wind in the 1st half, Lucan got off to the better start and went 2 points up in the opening minutes. It seemed to take Crokes a few minutes to get to the pace of the game but on 10 minutes, goalie Conor Coogan saved a shot from his right side and hit a good clearance to left corner back Daithi Linehan who found wing back James Ryan on the 45 metre line. Ryan played it up the wing to centre forward Ronan McNamara who transferred infield to midfielder Fintan Lydon; Lydon ran hard at the defence before hitting a low pass into corner forward Ross Gargan on the edge of the large square. Gargan turned and was about to “pull the trigger” before being dispossessed but in the ensuing goal mouth scramble he showed great persistence to drive the ball into the net to put Crokes 1 point ahead somewhat against the run of play! (1-0 to 0-2)
Just before the water break, Crokes centre back Rory Flannery extended the lead with a free from the Lucan 45m line. (1-1 to 0-2)
Lucan attacked Crokes relentlessly after the break but the full back line of Finian Donohoe, Hugh Brosnan and Daithi Linehan dealt very efficiently with most situations. On 20 minutes full forward Tom Curtin did well to win a ball about 30 metres out from goal and was about to turn his man but was fouled – Flannery converted to extend the lead to 3 points. From the puck out, right corner back Brosnan cleared up a dangerous situation and found right corner forward Connie O’Sullivan around half way. O’Sullivan played it into Curtin who fed right half forward Conall Criostoir and he swung it over the bar for a great point. (1-3 to 0-2)
At this stage, Crokes half back line of Tom Ambrose, Flannery and Ryan along with midfielders Lydon and Eoghan O’Donovan were getting on top and this created further points for Criostoir and left half forward Matthew O’Rafferty. Lucan did strike a great point from the right touchline just before half time but 3 points was scant reward for the pressure they had exerted in the 1st half. (1-5 to 0-3)
Although aided by the breeze, Crokes were slow to get going and it took 5 minutes before Criostoir struck with a free from 45 metres. A minute later following a foul on O’Sullivan, Flannery sent a long range free into the box where Lydon won the ball and seemed to “emerge” through a defensive phalanx of 3 bodies before shimmying to the right and placing the sliothar into the left corner to extend the lead to 9 points. (2-6 to 0-3) Lydon and Flannery then traded points with Lucan before the water break to leave the score at 2-8 to 0-5. Crokes subs Jonathan Axelsson(corner back), Rian Robertson(half forward), Cian Moriarty and Ryan Crowley(corner forwards) all contributed to their dominance during this period. Flannery added a free after the break to make it a 10 point game.
Lucan were given a life line when they were awarded a penalty. There was a considerable delay for attention to an injured Lucan player and this did not help the Lucan forward who drove the sliothar high and wide. After this scare, Coogan found Ryan on the 65 with the puck out; he sent a cross field pass to McNamara who cleverly hand passed to Criostoir in space in the centre and he struck arguably the best point of the day from 50 metres. (2-10 to 0-5)
Lucan’s efforts were eventually rewarded when they went for goal from a 20 metre free; Coogan got his hurl to the initial effort but in the scramble that followed, a Lucan forward buried it. (2-10 to 1-5) Crokes controlled the remaining minutes and Criostoir added 2 further points. (2-12 to 1-5)
All in all, it was a very good team performance and sets things up nicely for what is sure to be a titanic battle in the final against Boden!
KILMACUD CROKES: C.Coogan, H.Brosnan, F.Donohoe, D.Linehan, T.Ambrose, R.Flannery, J.Ryan(Capt), F.Lydon, E.O’Donovan, C.Criostoir, R.McNamara, M.O’Rafferty, R.Gargan, T.Curtin, C.O’Sullivan. Subs: J.Axelsson for H.Brosnan, R.Robertson for M.O’Rafferty, C.Moriarty for Gargan, R.Crowley for Curtin
Conall Criostóir 0 -6
Rory Flannery 0 -4
Fintan Lydon 1 -1
Ross Gargan 1 -0
Matthew O'Rafferty 0 -1