Kilmacud Crokes co-manager Johnny Magee heralded the efforts of star man Paul Mannion as his side took the Dublin senior football title on Monday night.
The Dublin forward hit an impeccable 1-6 for the Stillorgan men – without a single wide – and hit several of his points from tight angles. Mannion’s scores proved the difference as Crokes took control in seeing off St Jude’s at Parnell Park.
“Mannion was very good. Delighted. He was very good on the ball. He was economical,” Magee said after the game. “He sensed when the opportunities were there.”
“We knew that Jude’s were coming with a competitive edge so we knew we’d have to move the ball quickly,” Magee said of the contest.
“If the opportunity was there to take a score, we take it. Obviously there were times there when they had numbers behind the ball.
“We had to be patient,” Magee said of the slow-paced early part of the game. “Yes, it’s frustrating. But you have to pick your holes and go when the chances come up.
“Looking at the lads we had, the talent in the group – we knew that there was definitely a Championship in the team.
“And we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy but if we got the right mix of football and knowing how to get the ball back when we didn’t have it.”
Magee’s Crokes will have a couple of weeks to regroup before heading into the Leinster Championship. While the Stillorgan club – once a separate hurling and footballing entity – missed out on winning the double when Ballyboden St Enda’s got the better of them in the hurling final on Sunday, the title is the clubs first Dublin senior win since 2014, and first in the football since 2010.
Mannion himself spoke to RTE Sport after the contest, and talked about the team, as opposed to his own starring efforts.
“We knew it was going to be a really tough game, Jude’s are a dogged team,” Mannion said. “We saw how they came back against Vincent’s, so we knew we had to keep the scoreboard ticking over.”
“The goals came at really crucial times for us, we were backs against the wall. I was telling Pat [Burke] to put that goal over the bar, but he didn’t listen, he just put his foot through it and I was delighted to see it go in. We were only a couple of points ahead. Fair play to him, he went for it and it came off.”
“We’ve learnt from our losses over the years. It’s nice to cash in on that experience. It’s my first ever championship medal with Kilmacud Crokes, and it’s nice
to fill in that gap a little bit.”