Crokes shake off the senior shackles

by Karl Graham

KILMACUD Crokes got their ladies senior championship campaign off to the perfect start last week with a 3-23 to 3-4 win over Clanna Gael Fontenoy at Pairc De Burca.
Michele Davoren was the star of the show with a contribution of 1-10, while Eabha Rutledge and Julia Buckley both impressed scoring 1-6 and 1-4 respectively.
The first half was a competitive one with Crokes enjoying a wind advantage to help them take a 1-9 to 2-4 lead into the break.
Half-time was as good as it would get for the visitors, however, as the home side came out and blew away their opponents during the second half and restricted them to just one score – albeit a three pointer.
Crokes’ ability to choke Clanna Gael’s kickouts around the middle of the park played a big part in the turn in fortunes.
“We’re delighted,” Crokes manager Noel O’Leary told GazetteSport. “It has been a long spring time leading into the championship. We have a good bunch of girls, and quite a young squad probably lacking in a little bit of experience but blending together well.
“It was a good opening win for us. A very tight first half but at the end of the day we put things together well in the second half.”
O’Leary also explained that difference between the two halves was down to how his team executed their game plan.
“Strategically we didn’t do anything drastic; it was more a matter of execution. The execution was of a much higher standard in the second half and I think from a fitness point of view we may have just shaded it.”
Crokes have been very successful in underage football over the last few years and O’Leary believes that success is now starting to filter through to senior football.
“We are probably seeing the fruition of the good work that has been done at junior level in Kilmacud for the last number of years.
“We are beginning to see those girls coming into senior football.”

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