Crokes and Mun to face off  in SFC quarter battle

by Aaron Dunne
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Kilmacud Crokes booked a Dublin SFC quarter-final date with Ballymun Kickhams thanks to a hard-earned 1-17 to 0-17 win over Skerries Harps in Parnell Park on Saturday.

Crokes enjoyed a 1-9 to 0-9 interval lead with Hugh Kenny netting in the 28th minute and points early in the second-half by Paul Mannion and Shane Wash extended their lead to six points.

However, they struggled to maintain their control in the final quarter as Harps battled back through points by Eoghan McGinley, Adam Fearon and Killian McGinnis but the holders held on despite some late pressure on their goal.

Walsh top scored with 0-7 for Kilmacud with Mannion’s five points and three by influential captain Shane Cunningham proving sufficient on the day.

In O’Toole Park, Castleknock confirmed second spot in Group 2 as they edged St Sylvester’s by 1-12 to 1-10.

Tommy McDaniel proved their match-winner with 1-5 from play and while Alex Wright converted a penalty for Syls, Castleknock did enough to prevail thanks to the scoring contributions of Ger McDermottroe (0-3) and Conor Chawke (0-2).

Earlier in Donnycarney, last year’s beaten finalists Na Fianna were dumped out in the group stages as they succumbed to local rivals St Vincent’s by 1-16 to 0-18.

Na Fianna built up a 0-11 to 0-7 advantage by half-time with David Lacey and Aaron Byrne heavily involved but they struggled to impose themselves after the break against an inspired Vinnies team.

Cian Dunne’s nine points helped St Vincent’s gradually reel in their opponents with a brilliant Sean Lambe goal in the 43rd minute adding to their momentum.

The lead exchanged hands a number of times in a frantic final quarter and while Conor Early looked to have salvaged a vital share of the spoils for Na Fianna when levelling in the fourth minute of added time, Shane O’Leary was on hand to kick the all-decisive score for the Marino side with the final kick of the game.

St Vincent’s are joined in the last eight by a St Jude’s side that claimed their third group win when edging Whitehall Colmcille by 1-12 to 1-9 at O’Toole Park.

Sean Kirwan netted for a Jude’s team that had already secured their qualification and with Darragh Rooney adding eight points from frees, they did enough to hold on despite an Eddie Moran goal and a strong showing by Whitehall’s Eoghan O’Donnell at full-forward.

On Sunday, Ballymun Kickhams claimed the last quarter-final spot on offer as they defeated Ballinteer by 1-12 to 0-11 at Parnell Park.

The curtain-raiser saw Raheny and Lucan Sarsfields entertain from the outset with the former pulling away in the second-half to complete a resounding 7-15 to 2-6 win.

The other game in Group 3 saw Cuala claim a 1-13 to 0-12 victory over previously unbeaten Thomas Davis at O’Toole Park, clinching a quarter-final date with St Jude’s in the process.

Action from St Vincent’s crucial win over Na Fianna. Picture: Grainne McKinney

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