KILMACUD Crokes celebrated an emphatic hurling Feile weekend in Parnell Park last Sunday when they registered a convincing win over Whitehall in the Division 1 final, having swept away past prior challenges from Lucan Sarsfields, Cuala, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Ballinteer St John’s en route.
They tore through the group stages with three comprehensive victories. They started with a 2-11 to 0-4 victory over Lucan before beating near neighbours Cuala 7-10 to 1-5 with a very good display.
From there, they completed the group with a 2-12 to 1-6 success against Ballyboden St Enda’s, in an encounter that the Crokes’ mentors described as a “very competitive game, particularly in the first half”.
But they got early scores in the second half to give them a cushion and they finished out the tie strongly to earn a semi-final date with Ballinteer St John’s.
Speaking about his side’s performances, Crokes’ mentor John Dillon said it was the power of the collective that propelled his side through.
“The side was generally impressive across the board, using the whole 21 players across the panel. Mark Grogan was very strong throughout the weekend as was Ian Walsh. Conor Kinsella showed well, got a good couple of goals against Cuala and continued on scoring throughout the weekend. Eddie Gibbons was very accurate both from free-taking and open play.
“The midfielders James Dillon and Sean Kinsella were very solid; Tadhg Dunbar in goals, defenders Colin Veale, Cormac Keyes who played a captain’s role all weekend, Tom Stakelum, Conor Lacey, Rory Smith, Stephen Dunne, Joe Proudfoot and James Kos, other forwards such as Fionn O’Ceallaigh, Padraig Puirceal, Niall Comerford, Denis Murray, Anthony Quinn and Tim Leary… the whole team all played really well and everyone played their part.”
Against Ballinteer St John’s in the semi-finals, they led from start to finish with an 8-9 to 1-2 victory. Even though, they were ahead by a large amount, they kept forging forward to make sure there was little doubt.
It set up a final date against Whitehall Colmcilles where, once again, Kilmacud were simply better on the day in a rousing 3-13 to 0-5 success.
“They got the first score of the game with a point from a free and it started tight enough. But we got a goal and then another goal from a free which put us 2-8 to 0-3 at half-time.
“Mark Grogan got a goal just after half-time and that killed it off. In fairness, Whitehall battled all the way through but on the day we were that bit stronger.”
It follows success at Under-12 level and they won the Under-13 league last year, drawing in players from schools like Colaiste Eoin, St Benildus, Oatlands, Blackrock College and St Michael’s College.
The side next go to Thurles on Saturday, June 21 for the next phase of the competition hoping to make it through their group and reach the play-off games in Semple Stadium in Thurles.