Walsh stars as Crokes cruise past Carlow champions Éire  Óg

by Aaron Dunne
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Kilmacud Crokes 1-12

Éire Óg0-4

Kilmacud Crokes marched on after enjoying a relatively easy victory over Éire Óg the Carlow champions in the Leinster SFC championship quarter-final at Netwatch Cullen Park.

The reigning All-Ireland champions played a patient game against a young side with many of them still learning their trade in senior football.

Within two minutes, a free from Shane Walsh and a point from play through Dara Mullin gave them a degree of momentum. The latter added another point before Éire Óg opened their account with Benny Kavanagh coming forward from deep and firing the ball over the crossbar.

The home team had enough possession but their danger men up front were struggling to gain a foothold in the game.

In the meantime, Kilmacud picked off further points with Mullin and Dan O’Brien on the mark. Colm Hulton’s curled effort saw Éire Óg a short period in the ascendancy with Jordan Morrissey converting a free

Yet the Dublin champions were just that bit too consistent and on at least three occasions in the half, the Carlow side were penalised for overcarrying. With half-backs Mark O’Leary and Andy McGowan both raising white flags, Kilmacud Crokes led 0-8 to 0-3 at the interval.

The second half was a quiet enough affair. The three-in-a-row Dublin champions were never going to lose and they probably played within themselves. Brian Sheehy landed a point while Adam McCarron replied for the Carlow representatives.

The game was in injury-time with the result a foregone conclusion when Éire Óg lost the ball going forward. The response was ruthless and merciless from Shane Walsh and after being put clear, he beat both the goalkeeper and a defender to find the only goal.

Paul Mannion landed a point after that while Jordan Morrissey unlucky to be yellow carded for the second time and the home team finished with fourteen.

On this performance, there will hardly be an All-Ireland title but one feels they know that too and will be contenders for quite a while yet.

Shane Walsh of Kilmacud Crokes in action against Colm Hulton of Éire Óg (above) and (left) Dara Mullin of Kilmacud Crokes in action against Benny Kavanagh during the Leinster Club Championship quarter-final at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow.            Pictures: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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