Crokes U-21s cap year with big win

by Gazette Reporter

KILMACUD Crokes’ footballers ended the year in style by claiming the Dublin Under-21 A Football Championship over St Vincent’s last Sunday in Alfie Byrne Road.
The 3-10 to 1-5 win was as comprehensive and comfortable as you will see in a county championship final with Crokes playing outstanding football from back to front. A couple of goals from Shane Cunningham but the gloss on a performance that’s shining light was really Crokes’ captain and centre-half-back Ross McGowan.
The former Dublin minor led by example not just at the back but all over the pitch. He was at the helm of many of the Glenalbyn men’s attacks and scored the game’s opening goal.
McGowan took his goal like a full-forward and it helped Crokes begin the game in whirlwind fashion, as they were 1-03 to nil after 12 minutes. Dara Mullin and Callum Pearson kept the scoreboard ticking and, at the break, Gabriel Bannigan’s side were 1-8 to 0-3 in front.
Just three minutes into the second half, Crokes went 11 points in front when Cunningham got his first goal of the game. Despite trailing heavily at this early stage, Vin’s hadn’t thrown in the towel just yet. A Lorcan Galvin gave the Marino supporters something to cheer but it was shortlived as Crokes struck again.
It was Cunningham who delivered the final blow with his second goal of the game which reinstated his side’s 11 point advantage. The goal came thanks to a brilliant solo run from McGowan.
He tore through the Vin’s midfield and half-back line before offloading to his full-forward who made no mistake with the finish. Further points from Mullin, Pearson, Cian O’Connor and Aidan Jones completed the rout.
Bannigan said afterwards: “You don’t normally win a championship final so comprehensively so the players deserve credit.
“The players were extremely focused going into the game. It was our second final against Vincent’s in a week after they beat us to the AFL1 title with a lot of our lads were involved that day so that spurred them on.”

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