Photo Credit : Steven Dagg



(Match report by Diarmuid Coogan.)

At UCD on Saturday 30th April a brave Kilmacud Crokes U15B team played their hearts out to the end but just didn’t have the “firepower” to match a well drilled “Scoil” outfit.

(Scoil had won the Division 4 Football Féile the precious week so were always going to be formidable.)

From the throw in, Scoil were in attack mode and following a powerful surge up the middle, Crokes goal keeper Mark Beggins did well to deflect a shot over for a point. (KC 0 Sc 0-1)

5 minutes later talented Scoil half forward Niall Daly hit a free from 45 metres. (KC 0 Sc 0-2)

On 8 minutes Crokes U14 midfileder Andy Blanker won possession around the 65 and ran hard at the defence before striking a very good point to settle his team. (KC 0-1 Sc 0-2)

Crokes were battling very hard at this stage with U14 full back Dan Conway imperious at the back.

He was ably supported by corner backs Conor Foley and Oisín Gormley as well as half backs Harry Lynch, PJ Phelan and Aidan Boniel.

Following a dangerous attack which the Crokes defence did well to put out for a 65, Scoil midfielder restored the lead to 2 points. (KC 0-1 Sc 0-3)

On 13 minutes, Beggins pucked out long to the left where captain Conor Mullin and corner forward Colum Buckley did well to win possession for U14 ½ forward Dara Crean. Crean showed great vision in putting a crossfield pass over to right ½ froward Ben Franklin who hit a lovely point. (KC 0-2 Sc 0-3)

During the next 10 minutes, Crokes enjoyed their best period of pressure as Beggins launched many attacks deep into Scoil territory but despite the hard work of full forwards Cian Cooper, Eoin Lynch and Buckley, they weren’t able to make the pressure count on the score board.

Then on 25 minutes Daly hit a low ball from 30 metres towards the goal; there were Crokes defenders massed on the 14 metre line who missed the ball and Beggins, unsighted by the players in front of him, was wrong footed and could only watch as the ball went into the left corner to give Scoil a flattering 4 point lead. (KC 0-2 Sc 1-3)

Crokes “dusted themselves down” after this set back and following great pressure, Scoil were forced to concede a 65 which Beggins nailed in customary fashion! (KC 0-3 Sc 1-3)

Just before half time, Beggins pucked out to the left where Buckley, Boniel and Phelan fought like demons to win possession and were eventually rewarded when they got a free on 65 metres. Beggins came forward again and nailed it to reduce the gap to 2 at the break. (KC 0-4  Sc 1-3)


Having got back in touch on the score board, it was imperative that Crokes got off to a good start in the 2nd half. However, Scoil had other ideas and right from the throw in, Daly won possession and soloed powerfully at the heart of the Crokes defence before driving a shot into the top right corner.(KC 0-4 Sc 2-4)

Shell-shocked by this set back, Crokes battled hard to get back on track and managed to prevent any further scores for the next 10 minutes before Beggins added another free on 41 minutes to give them a glimmer of hope (KC 0-5 Sc 2-4).

Driven on by Beggins’ long pucks, Blanker, Boniel and Phelan’s energy, Crokes continued to carry the fight and also sent stalwart defender Seán Ó Maonaigh up front to cause chaos in the square.

Despite several attacks and pressure put on by sub forwards Charlie Grehan and Adam Faughnan, Crokes just couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard and then Scoil added another goal in the 49th minute. (KC 0-5 SC 3-4 )

Crokes were still coming to terms with that goal when Scoil struck again to make it an 11 point margin and it looked like that this could become a “rout”.

To their credit, Crokes rallied and introduced Mark Lohan, who had come “out of retirement” in recent months to contribute to the Féile campaign.

They laid siege to the Scoil goal and following yet another goal mouth scramble, the tigerish Buckley kicked the ball to the net to finally score the goal that his team deserved on 56 minutes. (KC 1-5 Sc 4-4)

Scoil then managed to score their 1st point of the 2nd half but Crokes still fought to the bitter end and on the 60th minute, Beggins sent another 65 over for a point. (KC 1-6 Sc 4-5)

The final whistle sounded a few minutes later and while the Crokes team were dejected, they should take pride in their efforts in getting to a Féile final as in January it seemed very unlikely that they would have the numbers to field any team in this year’s competition.

But buoyed by the great spirit in the team and support from the U14’s including U14 lead mentors Adrian Crean and Liam Roche and U15 mentors Padriag Lynch, Karen Beggins and Deirdre Phelan with former senior Hurler Eoin de Paor, they maintained a very impressive Féile campaign and many of these players will challenge for places on the much vaunted, all conquering U15A team in the months and seasons to come!

KILMACUD CROKES: Mark Beggins, Oisín Gormley, Dan Conway, Conor Foley, PJ Phelan, Aidan Boniel, Harty Lynch, Andrew Blanker, Seán Ó Maonaigh, Ben Franklin, Dara Crean, Conor Mullin(Capt), Eoin Lynch, Cian Cooper, Colum Buckley.

Subs: Charlie Grehan, Adam Faughnan, Mark Lohan, Gavin King, Liam McCusker, Hugh Leahy, Marcus Butler, Christian Sinclair, Davin Tighe.

KILMACUD CROKES SCORERS: M.Beggins 0-4(3 65’s, f), C.Buckley 1-0, A.Blanker, B.Franklin 0-1 each.