Impressive Kilmacud Crokes make light work of Raharney

Dublin side cruised through to the Leinster semi-finals with a five-goal haul

Kilmacud’s Ronan Hayes celebrates after scoring a point during their Leinster SHC quarter-final against Raharney. Photo: Ben Brady/Inpho

Kilmacud’s Ronan Hayes celebrates after scoring a point during their Leinster SHC quarter-final against Raharney. Photo: Ben Brady/Inpho

 

Kilmacud Crokes 5-19 Raharney 0-15

Fresh from a hard-earned Dublin championship victory, Kilmacud Crokes proved too much strong for Raharney in front of a large crowd in Mullingar in the Leinster club hurling quarter-final on Sunday afternoon, the Dubliners not flattered by their 19-point winning margin.

An ability to find the net at crucial junctures was the main difference between the teams. Kilmacud scored four fine goals - the fifth was a fluke - while their opponents spurned a gilt-edged opportunity before the visitors pounced for their first three-pointer.

Alex Considine put the Dublin champions ahead after just 25 seconds and Dara Purcell doubled their advantage two minutes later with the first of his five-point tally. As was expected, Raharney were very reliant on their marquee forward Killian Doyle for scores, and his three fine points from play had his team just a point in arrears (0-4 to 0-3) with 13 minutes elapsed.

Purcell doubled his team’s lead in the 14th minute. Three minutes later, corner forward Eoin Keyes bore down on goals and looked sure to score, but his batted attempt from point-blank range was too close to Eddie Gibbons who was injured briefly after making a brave save. The game turned in the 19th minute when Ronan Hayes powerfully soloed through the Raharney defence from the right wing and he rifled an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. This left Kilmacud ahead by 1-5 to 0-3 at the first water break.

A young Raharney fan carries a helmet off the field after the game. Photo: Ben Brady/Inpho
A young Raharney fan carries a helmet off the field after the game. Photo: Ben Brady/Inpho

Hayes was proving to be a real handful for the Westmeath champions’ rearguard and, following his conversion of a routine free, he cut through again - this time from the left wing - in the 23rd minute, giving Aaron McHugh no chance with another rasping shot. Neat points ensued at the other end from Eamon Cunneen and Ciarán Doyle. The latter’s twin brother Killian was accurate from placed balls and he kept Raharney somewhat in touch, but they still trailed by 2-8 to 0-8 at the interval.

The second half was less than 20 seconds old when Considine fired home Kilmacud’s third goal. Raharney had a decent amount of possession at this stage, but they dropped several balls short into the grateful hand of Gibbons, while their forwards were well bottled up by a tough Kilmacud defence. The Doyle brothers combined delightfully in the 44th minute and Ciarán was cynically fouled en route to goal. His brother Killian surprisingly opted to take a point from the resultant close-range free. Within a minute, Considine doubled his goal haul from close range. This left the Metropolitans four goals clear (4-12 to 0-12) at the second water break.

The game was now well and truly over as a contest. Killian Doyle almost got a consolation goal for the home team in the 50th minute, but his deftly-flicked shot went narrowly over rather than under the crossbar. Four unanswered points from the sticks of Caolan Conway (two), sub Marc Howard, and the ever-dangerous Purcell put Kilmacud ahead by 4-19 to 0-14 approaching the end of normal time.

Kieran Dowling emptied the winners’ bench in the closing stages and his side added a fortuitous fifth goal on the hour mark. Gibbons, who had been short from a number of huge frees earlier in the match, looked like he had pointed a monster free, but the ball deceived all and sundry and crept into the net. Killian Doyle brought his personal points’ tally to double figures in the dying moments by slotting over a free.

Kilmacud Crokes now face surprise semi-finalists, Clough-Ballacolla from Laois, in the penultimate round.

Kilmacud Crokes: E Gibbons (1-0, free); D Crowe, B O’Carroll, J Clinton; P Linehan, M Grogan, B Sheehy; O O’Rorke (0-1), D Mulligan; D Purcell (0-5), F Whitely (0-1), C Conway (0-3); L McMullan (0-1), R Hayes (2-6, five frees), A Considine (2-1).

Subs: M Howard (0-1) for Considine (46 mins), C Ó Cathasaigh for Linehan (46 mins), S Veale for Hayes (52 mins), C MacGabhann for O’Carroll (52 mins), F Ó Ceallaigh for O’Rorke (56 mins).

Raharney: A McHugh; S Quinn, D Finn, C McKeogh; D Hickey, R Greville, M Glennon; C Boyle, E Cunneen (0-1); K Doyle (0-10, six frees, one ‘65’), J Boyle (0-1), R Keyes; E Ahearn (0-1), C Doyle (0-1), E Keyes (0-1).

Subs: J Goonery for R Keyes (36 mins), D Weir for McKeogh (42 mins), J Shaw for Ahearn (56 mins), B McGrath for E Keyes (60 mins), C Jordan for Glennon (60 mins).

Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).

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