Kilmacud Crokes claim their place in last 8 of Junior A Champion
The warm up was done in the sun but as both teams stood back out onto the field for the match proper, the heavens opened up and frantic dashes were made to retrieve both gloves and alternative footwear. But by the time the first whistle had gone, it had cleared up again.
Playing with the aid of a strong wind, Kilmacud overcame the loss of Brendan Owens early in the game to register the first point through substitute Dónal Hogan on 8 minutes.
In truth they never really looked in trouble for large periods of that first half. But a superb block and turn over by St. Finians gave them a chance of a goal, which they duly took on 18 minutes. It was to be their only score of the first half but it meant that with a strong breeze at their back in the second half, they had reason to be confident at only 0-8 to 1-0 down.
The other Kilmacud scores coming from Donal Hogan again, Adam Coughlan, Stephen Sheridan, Alan O'Donovan and Darragh McGale with three from frees.
Had it not been for some excellent St Finian's defending, the margin probably should have been more. But credit to St Finian's in this regard.
The second half could not have started better for St Finian's who made a blistering start and registered an early brace of scores to get them within 3 points. This was soon followed by a well taken goal and suddenly the teams were level.
However, this seemed to give Crokes the shot in the arm that they needed and it wasn't long before they were back in the ascendancy. A fine turn over from John Hanley when a St Finian's score seemed inevitable after 41 minutes was undoubtedly a major turning point. From his turn over a free was won close to goal, which resulted in a relatively easy score. This score in addition to an injection of pace from substitute David Greene resulted in a turnabout in fortunes for Crokes.
From then on Crokes struck an unanswered 1-2 (1-1 coming from the veteran Alan Maher) which took the wind out of the St Finian's sails completely. The St Finian's cause wasn't helped either by a straight red card for their wing forward.
With numerical advantage now in their favour, Crokes effectively saw out the game with further scores from Neal Murphy and Darragh McGale.
After a very satisfactory outing for the lads and their management and support, they can now look forward to a home quarter final against Fingal Ravens on 12/13 May 2010, in Glenalbyn.
Best of luck to them in their preparations and hopefully we'll have a great night in a few weeks time in Glenalbyn. Keep an eye out here for confirmed details of that match.