In near perfect conditions at Pairc de Burca on Sunday 27th January the Kilmacud Crokes AFL2 squad made club history by becoming the first football team in the club’s history to retain Division 2 status following promotion from Division 3 the previous year .The game and indeed the result undoubtedly impressed the large group of spectators present who were served a masterclass in Kilmacud-brand football.
From the throw in mid-fielder Ross O’Carroll set the standard with a wonderfully taken point from play, a feat only surpassed by his stunning shot for goal in the second half. Opponents Naomh Barrog knew they were in a winner-take-all battle as the Crokes warriors fought tooth and nail for every ball. Defenders Mullins, Drummy and McGuane repelled attack after attack from the Northsiders while “Braveheart” Ryan was the inspirational commander in charge of defence. Regular raids into enemy territory launched by O’Rorke and the mercurial O’Flathartha struck fear into the Barrog men.
Invaluable possession was won in the centre by the O’Carroll-Burns partnership which provided the ammo for sharpshooters up front. While it took some time for the forwards to find the range they could rely on one of 3 Foxes raiding the chicken coop……. Garret scoring 2 points from frees and converting a penalty. Crucial scores from the indestructible Armstrong and wily Ward meant that the Stillorgan side reached half-time 1-5 to 1-3 ahead, however with the knowledge that their wounded adversaries would not surrender their valued senior status without a gargantuan effort.
As anticipated the second half heated up and all the strengths and character of Kilmacud were tested. The Foxes, Barry and Niall were not found wanting and ran themselves into the ground for the cause. All the wagons were circled as Barrog laid siege and then the defining moment, a penalty awarded to Barrog, if scored just one point would separate the teams! Mooney faced, concentrated, crouched, anticipated and dived…………..SAVED!!!! Another goalkeeper immortalised in the annals of Kilmacud a la Pender! As the boy O’Byrne covered every blade of grass for the umteenth time Barrog’s spirits waned. Their suffering added to as fresh forces were sprung in the form of O’Daly, Caffrey, Toomey, Lowry and the indefatigable Leahy. All played their part, as did all squad members through the long campaign which climaxed in victory to secure Division 2 status.
Final Score : Kilmacud-Crokes 2-12 Naomh Barrog 1-11