AFL8 Seal Play Off Spot on Final Day
AFL8 Seal Play Off Spot on Final Day
The Division 8 adult footballers secured a place in the league play-offs with a commanding 3-11 to 0-8 win against St. Sylvester’s away from home on All-Ireland Final Sunday in Broomfield, Malahide.
Playing against the team ranked just above them in the table, victory for either side would cement a place in the top five and thus a place in the play offs. Despite playing with the hill and the slight breeze Kilmacud struggled to get to the pace of the game early on and it was former Dublin minor and Under 21 player Cian Cleere causing plenty of trouble from full forward for Sylvester’s as they tagged on some early points. The Kilmacud effort wasn’t helped either by an early injury to wing back Tom Lyons, who was soon replaced by John Mahon. However a looping effort from the left with his left by corner forward Cormac Bonnar deceived all and most importantly the Syls goal keeper to nestle in the top right corner, a goal that settled the rest of the Kilmacud team into the game.
From there they built a solid platform into the break with further points from Bonnar and Rob Ryan allied to some powerful running and scores from centre back Paddy Igoe to leave them six ahead at the break 2-4 to 0-4, Igoe with the second goal. The home side again started the second half the brighter with two quick scores after the restart, but a free from centre forward Marcus Ó Buachalla got Crokes up and running again. By now Bill Ryan and Jim Fitzgerald were beginning to dominate in midfield and Ryan finished off a flowing move involving his brother Cormac and Stephen Wall when he drove over the bar from thirty yards. Igoe added another point to his impressive tally and while he would leave the field soon after with an injury he would finish with a very credible 1-2 from centre back. Crokes were now well on top in key areas. Kevin Creasey was cool under the high ball in the goals and dealt brilliantly with the seven balls that dropped short.
Brian Dillon grew into the game at full back, while beside his Adam Brennan and Stephen Russell were putting out fires left right and centre. Beside Mahon and Igoe in the half back line, Cuán Ó Flatharta did an excellent job at marshalling one of the Sylvester’s key threats. Stephen Wall was enjoying his first game back in a few weeks at wing forward with Ó Buachalla and Cormac Ryan beside him winning breaking ball and keeping it moving inside. While inside Bonnar, Rob Ryan and captain David Breslin were offering plenty of attacking verve and guile. Indeed it was Breslin who came up with two inspirational plays on 50 minutes to suck the life out of the home side. First a block on the Crokes line from a 21 yard free from Cleere and moments later popping up at the other end to take a ball off substitute John Egan and to put over the bar.
Egan would have the final say in proceedings as he was put through on goal for the third and final goal of the day topping off a very impressive 20 minutes off the bench. Other replacements such as Rob Walsh and Donal McConnell made big impacts in the defence and midfield upon their introduction while David Beagon’s strong running caused the Syls defence all sorts of issues when he was brought on with 15 minutes to go.
A season that began on the 26th January 2016 looks like it has a few more weeks to run yet.
Huge credit to management team of Martin Byrne and Marcus Ó Buachalla and to the squad of players that have invested so much time and energy to this point. At the time of writing it looks like they will face Na Gaeil Óga in the Play-Offs with a date still to be announced.
KILMACUD: K Creasey, A Brennan (R Walsh 35mins), B Dillon, S Russell, T Lyons (J Mahon 10mins), P Igoe (D McConnell 45mins), C Ó Flatharta, J Fitzgerald, B Ryan (J Egan 45mins), S Wall, M Ó Buachalla, C Ryan (D Beagon), C Bonnar, D Breslin CAPTAIN, R Ryan
SCORERS: P Igoe (1-2), C Bonnar (1-2), R Ryan (0-3), M Ó Buachalla (0-2), D Breslin & B Ryan (0-1)