Kickhams beat Crokes to make first final
Ballymun Kickhams 1-10 Dr Crokes 0-9:Dublin football champions Ballymun Kickhams completed a clean sweep for the outsiders in the three All-Ireland club semi-finals this afternoon in Thurles, to follow St Brigid's of Roscommon into the St Patrick's Day final.
They survived a raft of missed opportunities and a determined comeback from the Kerry champions, which yielded an unanswered four-point scoring sequence half-way through the second half to pull away again and James McCarthy’s surging run up the field in injury-time created the last point for Derek Byrne to make safe a place in the club’s first final.
The swing moment probably came in the 38th minute when Chris Brady’s penalty, for a foul on Daithi Casey, was saved by Seán Currie and scrambled to safety. The let-off enabled the winners to survive their opponents’ recovery.
Anticipation was heightened before the throw-in with word from Mullingar that Crossmaglen’s three-in-a-row crusade had perished at the hands of Brigid's.
A dull, overcast afternoon hung over Semple Stadium, as the modest crowd of around 3,000 arrived. After a cracking point from Jamie Doolan, engineered by Johnny Buckley’s pinpoint ball into Casey and his scoring pass, Ballymun took control of the first half quickly and without fuss.
Philip McMahon started at centrefield and provided an array of good kick passes into his forwards. Beside him McCarthy ran penetratingly from the middle and took a couple of fine catches.
Seán George played well on Colm Cooper and his fingertip interception of Kieran O’Leary’s menacing ball into the Croke’s danger man prevented an almost certain goal in the 21st minute.
The goal that did come was six minutes earlier, as one of McMahon’s guided missiles found Ted Furman, who twisted one way and then another before directing the ball firmly past David Moloney.
The Croke’s goalkeeper came to the rescue in the 20th minute, saving a point-blank fisted ball from Kevin Leahy after Dean Rock had picked him out.
Rock was at the heart of Ballymun’s post-interval push, kicking a free and a point from play with McMahon – lucky to survive the penalty foul as he was already on a yellow card – adding a third for a six-point lead, 1-7 to 0-4, which the favourites were able to reduce but not clear.
DR CROKES:D Moloney; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald (0-1); L Quinn, E Brosnan, S Myers; A O’Donovan, J Buckley (0-1); K O’Leary (capt.), D Casey (0-3, one free), B Looney; C Brady (0-1), C Cooper (0-2), J Doolan (0-1). Subs: S Doolan for O’Donovan (19 mins), D O’Leary for Myers (44 mins), K Ward for Quinn (45 mins), G O’Shea for Brady (56 mins).
BALLYMUN:S Currie; Eoin Dolan, S George, Enda Dolan; A Hubbard, K Connolly, J Burke; P McMahon (0-1), J McCarthy; D Byrne (capt; 0-1)), K Leahy, J Whelan (0-1); T Furman (1-1), D Rock (0-5, three frees), C Weir. Subs: E Reilly for Weir (46 mins), D Byrne (0-1) for Leahy (55 mins), S Forde for Connolly (55 mins). A O’Brien for Furman (62 mins).
Referee:Marty Duffy (Sligo).