Kilmacud Crokes 2-12
Ballyboden St Enda’s 1-7
Goals either side of the interval proved telling as Kilmacud Crokes got the better of southside rivals Ballyboden St Enda’s by eight points in their Go Ahead Dublin Senior Championship Group A encounter at Páirc De Búrca.
Julia Buckley’s strike in first-half added time handed the holders a healthy 1-8 to 0-2 half-time advantage and fellow corner-forward Amy Conroy netted within two minutes of the restart to effectively settle the issue.
The visitors refused to accept their fate in a much-improved second-half performance and they gained reward for their efforts when full-forward Natalia Hyland palmed home from close range in the 52nd minute.
A large crowd gathered in Glenalbyn, just in time to witness Lauren Magee opening the scoring with an exceptional strike from distance in the 1st minute and the hosts
could well have netted soon after but for Conroy losing her balance when through on goal, allowing Sarah O’Brien to repel her tame effort.
A free in the fifth minute by Kate Murray double the Kilmacud lead but they were fortunate to remain in front two minutes later as Claire Kirwan’s superb solo run culminated in a low shot that cannoned to safety off Rachel Fleming’s right-hand upright.
However, St Enda’s did open their own account thanks to Kirwan with Michelle Davoren restoring Crokes’ two-point lead with a well-taken score from the resultant kick-out.
Hyland replied for Ballyboden in the 10th minute as the visitors settled to their task but they received a massive setback three minutes as centre-back Alice Rudden was sin-binned for a slightly late challenge that lacked malice of any kind.
The hosts availed of their numerical advantage to add points through two frees by Murray and another Michelle Davoren score with Mia Jennings catching the eye with her pace, eye for a pass and wonderful sidestep.
Conroy sliced wide in the 22nd minute as Crokes continued to threaten with points from Ailbhe Davoren and Niamh Cotter extending their lead before both teams were reduced to fourteen following yellow cards received by Boden’s Kate Donaghy and Kilmacud’s Grace Kos.
It appeared that St Enda’s would retain their clean sheet entering the break but an excellent move down the right saw Conroy release Buckley through on goal and a calm, low finish past O’Brien was just reward for the home dominance.
Buckley was heavily involved two minutes after the turnaround as her shot following Jennings’ incision struck the crossbar but Conroy was in the right place at the right time to bury the rebound.
Ailbhe Davoren added a point within in a minute as the contest threatened to peter out but Ballyboden continued to battle with the likes of Jen Walsh, Rebecca McDonnell and substitute Julie Vaughan all to the fore.
Natalia Hyland ended a barren period of thirty minutes when converting a 40th minute free and the Boden captain added two further scores in the third quarter to reflect the increased pressure on the home side.
Kilmacud were happy to play on the counter-attack and minimise any potential damage at the back with Niamh Carr impressing from wing-back while Magee was her typical industrious and dogged self.
Vaughan kicked an excellent point from play for the visitors, who finally raised a green flag ten minutes from time as Hannah Hyland raced through from the left flank before feeding Natalia Hyland for a straightforward finish.
McDonnell added a point to reduce their deficit to seven points close to full-time but fittingly, it was the hosts that had the final word as Magee and Michelle Davoren combined smartly for the latter to fist over and complete a satisfactory victory for the champions.
Scorers – Kilmacud Crokes: A Conroy 1-1, K Murray (3f), M Davoren 0-3 each, J Buckley 1-0, N Cotter (1f), A Davoren 0-2 each, L Magee 0-1. Ballyboden St Enda’s: N Hyland 1-4 (0-2f), C Kirwan, J Vaughan, R McDonnell 0-1 apiece.
Kilmacud Crokes: R Fleming; P Greene, E Sweeney, C Regan; N Carr, K Murray, A Kane; L Magee, N Cotter; G Kos, A Davoren, M Jennings; J Buckley, M Davoren, A Conroy. Subs: C Sultan for Kos (42), S O’Donoghue for Regan (47), A O’Grady for Murray (51), L Bedford for A Davoren (61).
Ballyboden St Enda’s: S O’Brien; S Codd, R Ruddy, H Leddy; H Byrne, A Rudden, J Walsh; C Ruddy, S Baynes; A McGarry, H Hyland, C Kirwan; K Donaghy, N Hyland, R McDonnell. Subs: A Flood for R Ruddy (8), A O’Brien for Byrne (half-time), J Vaughan for Donaghy (34), H Murphy for C Ruddy (36), A Byrne for Kirwan (58).
Referee: Ray McBride (Round Towers Clondalkin).
Action from Kilmacud Crokes’ Dublin LGFA SFC win over Ballyboden.
Photo: Maurice Grehan