Clough Ballacolla (Laois)1-16 – Kilmacud Crokes 1-13
KILMACUD CROKES’ dreams of a Leinster hurling and football double were brought to a shuddering halt by a ‘Picky’ Maher inspired Clough Ballacolla last Saturday night .
The Laois champions produced a massive shock to dump the Dubliners out of the Leinster Championship, but the Stilorgin club will continue their pursuit of provincial and All-Ireland club football glory back at headquarters this Saturday evening as they take on another Laois opponent in the shape of Portarlington.
Paul Mannion, who has been the leading light in Crokes’ run to the Dublin title and the provincial last four, will be back on familiar turf at Croke Park after an inter-county career that saw him amass eight Celtic Crosses before the age of 27 in the blue of Dublin.
Kilmacud are the 10/3 favourites to lift the Andy Merrigan Cup at the end of it all, but they will face a tricky opponent in the form of a Portarlington side that have impressed on their journey to Croker.
The winners will face either Kildare debutants Naas or Wexford’s Shelmaliers in the Leinster final early in the new year.
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