Kilmacud Crokes Senior Footballers Reach All Ireland Club Final

Date 29 Jan 2022
Home Team       Away Team Padraig Pearses 8pts 1g 11pts Kilmacud Crokes
Venue Kingspan Brefnii Park


KIlmacud Crokes reached their 3rd All Ireland Club final when they beat Padraig Pearses of Roscommon 1g 11pts to 8pts in their semi final in Kingspan Brefnii Park on Saturday Jan 29th. They will now play the Ulster Champions Kilcoo in the All Ireland Final decider on Feb 12th at 5pm in Croke Park 

Photo Credit : Eamon O' Callaghan   / Match Report Below from Our Own Diarmuid Coogan



(Match Report by Diarmuid Coogan.)

Kilmacud Crokes reached the All Ireland Final for the 3rd time in their history following a comfortable victory over the Connacht Champions, Pádraig Pearse’s of Roscommon. At one stage of the 2nd half, it looked as if the momentum was with Pearse’s and their large contingent in the crowd rallied behind them but Crokes maintained their composure and their stronger bench gave them a very clinical finish in the final quarter as they’ve done in all their tight knock games thus far.


Pearse’s got off to a quick start with midfielder Niall Daly kicking a great point from the left in the 1st minute. (KC 0-0 PP 0-1)

Pearse’s had several chances to extend this lead in the following minutes but spurned them with Croke looking somewhat nervous.


Then in the 8th minute, Crokes forwards Hugh Kenny and Shane Horan combined well before feeding veteran Craig Dias on the 14 metre line who came onto the ball “like a train” and showed great skill to “nutmeg” Pearse’s goalie Paul Whelan. (KC 1-0 PP 0-1)


Pearse’s then made a hash of the kickout and Crokes should have grabbed a 2nd but were narrowly wide.

The Roscommon side then settled back into the game  and following a foul by Kenny on Pearse’s centre forward Niall Carty, corner forward Paul Carey kicked a fine free to settle their nerves after 10 minutes. (KC 1-0 PP 0-2)


Despite this, Pearse’s wasted 2 further chances in the following minutes before Crokes started to get a “stranglehold” on possession.

On 16 minutes, Crokes wing forward Tom Fox aided by 3 of his teams mates dispossessed full forward Hubert Darcy on the Crokes 20 metre line; centre back Rory O’Carroll pounced on the breaking ball and fed Dias who looked up and put a great kick into Horan on the left and he kicked long to full forward Dara Mullen in the left corner. Mullen “skinned” his man along the end line and carried before sensibly fisting over for a very efficient point which was a great example of “heads up” football! ( KC 1-1 PP 0-2)


There was then a gap of 10 minutes before the next score following a “clothes line” tackle on Tom Fox; despite being severely hit in the tackle, Fox “dusted himself down” and nailed the resultant free on 26 minutes. (KC 1-2 PP 0-2)


When Crokes next got possession, they retained the ball for 2-3 minutes, patiently working it left and right before it finally broke to corner forward Callum Pearson in the D and he drilled over on 30 minutes. (KC 1-3 PP 0-2)


Dias won the kick out and played the ball into his forwards and Crokes had an opportunity to stretch the lead to 5 but were turned over. Pearse’s kicked long to Carey who was needlessly fouled on the left touchline 20 metres out. Referee Paul Faloon penalised Crokes’ indiscipline by bringing the ball in 15 metres to make the free easier which Carey gratefully accepted as he narrowed the gap to 3 which gave his side a glimmer of hope for the 2nd ½.


HALF TIME KC 1-3 PP 0-3.


As the players made their way to the dressing rooms, there was a bit of a “Tunnel Incident” but thankfully it seemed to be more “handbags” than “haymakers”!


Having been given somewhat of a reprieve, Pearse’s started the 2nd half in determined fashion and full forward Hubert Darcy reduced the lead to 2 with a soft free from the 20 metre line on 33 minutes. (KC 1-3 PP 0-4)


2 minutes later, Carey struck a lovely point from the left much to the approval of his supporters.  (KC 1-3 PP 0-5)


Pearse’s now had the momentum but on 38 minutes, Dias made an important interception in his own half and quickly found Kenny who in turn passed to Horan in space  on the right; Horan carried powerfully for 20 metres before hitting a great point on the edge of the D. (KC 1-4 PP 0-5)


The game was now in the melting pot as almost from the kick out, Daly replied with a fine point for Pearse’s.(KC 1-4 PP 0-6)


Once again Crokes composed themselves and retained possession before Kenny played a clever ball into Mullen to the right of the goals; Mullen rounded his man before fisting another point to restore the 2 point lead on 41 minutes. (KC 1-5 PP 0-6)


After 5 points in 6 minutes, it took until the 46th minute for the next score and Pearse’s sub Tom Butler knocked over from just outside the D. (KC 1-5 PP 0-7)


A  minute later, Crokes turned over a Pearse’s attack and cleared to Horan on the right hand side; Horan again carried towards the D and scored a carbon copy of his 1st point! (KC 1-6 PP 0-7)


Darcy hit back for Pearse’s with a point from 30 metres.  (KC 1-6 PP 0-8)


From the kickout there came what turned out to be the turning point of the match. Left Wing back David Murray soared into the air to claim a high ball on the Crokes 45 but was fouled as he came “down to earth”!

With the free straight in front of the posts, most observers expected Carey to level the scores but he seemed to “shank” his shot and the ball drifted harmlessly wide ½ way between the post and the corner flag!

With this let off, Crokes won the kick out and worked the ball through “the phases” before Horan passed to de facto “super sub “ Cian O’Connor on the Pearse’s 45; O’Connor showed his man a clean pair of heels and accelerated towards the 20 metre line where he expertly curled the ball inside the right post on 51 minutes.  (KC 1-7 PP 0-8)

From this point, Crokes looked in total control and when they regained possession, they patiently worked it forward to sub Aidan Jones who turned and fed to O’Connor on the edge of the D; O’Connor again applied the finished touch to stretch the lead to 3 with 7 minutes left. (KC 1-8 PP 0-8)

In contrast,  Pearse’s composure seemed to desert them – although there was ample time left to get back in the game, they wasted several opportunities with a few pot shots which either went wide or dropped short and didn’t trouble the Crokes defence which was well marshalled all afternoon by full back Andy McGowan and former All Star Rory O’Carroll.

In the 59th minute, sub Conor Casey showed a good turn of pace before knocking over the “insurance point” from 20 metres. (KC 1-9 PP 0-8)

The game was really up for Pearse’s when the kickout drifted over the left touchline on the 20 metre line; Dias kicked into Mullen who held up possession before transferring back to Dias who cut in from the right before striking a neat point to round off a colossal personal performance. (1-10 PP 0-8)


In the 3rd minute of injury time, Crokes sub Anthony Quinn got in on the act as he carried from the right touchline and showed great skill to “dummy” a defender before shooting a fine point to further embellish the score line. (KC 1-11 PP 0-8)


The final whistle sounded seconds later and the Crokes players, while delighted, were low key in their celebrations as they looked as if they’re on a mission with the final to come in 2 weeks. Given it’ll be their first All Ireland Final since 2009, we can expect huge excitement and anticipation in the Stillorgan area.

Kilmacud Crokes: Conor Ferris; Michael Mullen, Ross McGowan, Dan O’Brien; Cillian O’Shea, Rory O’Carroll, Andrew McGowan; Ben Shovlin, Craig Dias (1-01); Tom Fox (0-01, free), Hugh Kenny,Shane Horan (0-02); Callum Pearson (0-01),Dara Mullen (0-02),Shane Cunningham.Subs: Conor Casey (0-01) for Shovlin (46), Cian O’Connor (0-02) for Kenny (46), Aidan Jones for Pearson (51), Anthony Quinn (0-01) for Fox (57), Theo Clancy for Horan (60+1).

Pádraig Pearses: Paul Whelan; Caelim Keogh, Mark Richardson, Anthony Butler; Conor Lohan, Ronan Daly, David Murray; Niall Daly (0-02), Conor Daly; Shane Carty, Niall Carty, Lorcán Daly; Conor Payne, Hubert Darcy (0-02, 0-01 free), Paul Carey (0-03, 0-02 frees).Subs: Tom Butler (0-01) for S Carty (38), Emmett Kelly for Lohan (53), Jack Tumulty for L Daly (59), Eoin Colleran for Carty (60), Shane Mulvey for Richardson (60+3).

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)


Kilmacud Crokes Captain Shane Cunningham:

“I’m delighted with the win; it was a really tough game and our subs dug us out of the tricky position again. We weren’t overly nervous when Pearse’s kept pulling it back to 1 points as we were confident that we could play our way out of the tight situations. The All IrelandFinal will be a new feeling for most of us but we’ll just have to prepare for it the same way as all the other matches.

Kilmacud Crokes Bainisteoir Robbie “Baggio” Brennan:

“It was a very tough match, much as what we expected from Pearse’s but I was delighted that all the lads performed on the day and that our subs gave us a great impact in the final quarter as they’ve done all season.

Craig’s goal was massive in terms of the game as we had looked a bit nervous until then but it really settled us and although they came back into it, we kept our noses in front from there on until we pulled away in the last few minutes.

It’s great to be in the final and looking at how impressive Kilcoo have been, we’ll obviously be the “underdogs” but won’t be going to Croke Park on February 12th just to make up the numbers!”