AN outstanding performance from Kilmacud Crokes saw them soar to victory in the Dublin Senior B hurling championship, seeing off Setanta 1-16 to 0-14 at Parnell Park last Sunday.
And Kilmacud manager Ger McGrath was quick to praise his players for an awesome season.
“I have to put that win down to the players. They have reacted fantastically to everything thrown at them today and the attitude they displayed is something that they have put in form the very beginning of this year, they deserve it today,” he said.
“I had confidence that they would see the game out and despite Setanta putting up a strong fight, I was always comfortable with the score line, it was a great win.”
Crokes hit the ground running and seized control of the game in the early stages and held an early 0-4 to 0-2 lead that could have been significantly larger as Crokes were failing to convert many of their opportunities.
Setanta came back to level it at 0-4 each after some sloppy defending before they finally hit their straps.
They went into overdrive and dominated the midfield battle, allowing O’Leidhin to run riot and, along with an excellent long range effort from Conor Sheehan, hit seven points without reply to lead 0-11 to 0-4 at the break.
It was clear in the second half that the Setanta management had given a rousing team talk as they burst onto scene in the second half and began to crawl their way back into the game. Led by youngster Sean O’Rionn, Setanta fired three excellent points within five minutes into the second half and they reduced the margin to four points.
But the turning point came when manager Ger McGrath made the decision to move O’Leidhin from full forward to centre forward. It allowed Crokes to add more pace and flair into their midfield, as O’Leidhin drove his side back into the game, and Mark Coughlan scored a well-taken point after getting on the end of a breaking ball to land a vital goal.
O’Leidhin looked even more threatening in centre forward, and continued his first half display by putting over a skilful effort to make it 1-14 to 0-11 with 15 minutes to go.
Setanta, however were not going to go down without a fight and they yet again tussled their way back into the game and with five minutes left on the clock, reducing the gap to three points.
There was a growing sense at Parnell Park that anything could happen as Setanta searched desperately for a goal to equalize the game.
But it was not to be, as sub Matthew Geraghty scored two vital points to kill off any hope Setanta had left.