Ballinteer Saint Johns travelled to Stillorgan to play Kilmacud Crokes knowing that a win or a draw would ensure Senior Division 1 league status. The match started off brightly for the visitors early pressure yielding two unanswered points from Ruaidhri Donnelly and Glen Whelan. Crokes responded well and got on the scoreboard with a point from Ross O’Carroll following an assist from his team mate Damien Kelly. A good solo run along the near sideline by Aodhán Clabby resulted in a free to Johns which Clabby duly converted. Following a missed free by Crokes player Jude Sweeney and a wide ball from play by Aodhán Clabby, Crokes closed the gap to a single point when Ronan Walsh’s good work resulted in a foul and a handy pointed free from Sean McGrath. At 0-2 vs 0-3 Ballinteer could have stretched the gap between the sides only for two more wides coming from a sideline and a miss from play. The pattern of the match was now settling in with several continuous frees interrupting the flow of the match. Clabby again pointed for Ballinteer from a placed ball although team mate Joe Maher’s long range free was cleared well by Crokes centre back Niall Corcoran which ultimately led to a nice point from play by Conor Clinton.
Two points from play by Kilmacud’s full forward Declan Browne and several more scores from Ballinteer’s Clabby kept the scores ticking over and the sides went in at half time with the narrowest of margins between them. Half Time: Kilmacud Crokes: 0-9 Ballinteer Saint Johns 0-8
The damage that ultimately determined the result of the match would be done during the first ten minutes of the second half with Crokes dominating this early period and exposing the Ballinteer backs with quick passes that gave their forwards chances to shoot unmarked. Two such examples came from points by Barry O’Rourke and Conor Clinton while this early pressure also accounted for a free that was converted by Sean McGrath. Another pointed free by McGrath, and a free by Clabby, combined with a nice breakthrough solo run and point by Ballinteer’s Cian Dolan left the sides at 0-13 vs 0-10 in favour of Crokes.
Three points would separate the sides for the rest of the half with Ballinteer’s resurgence hindered by some bad wides particularly from frees. A few inspirational blocks and clearances by Ballinteer’s Cormac O’Brien would also help keep the visitors in the tie and, when substitute Ciaran Lane batted the ball into the Crokes net, it appeared the match would finish level at 0-17 vs 1-14. However, a final attack from Crokes ultimately led to a crucial goal by Ross O’Carroll, who had been excellent throughout, and the match finished with 3 points between the teams. Full Time: Kilmacud Crokes 1-17 Ballinteer Saint Johns 1-14
Ballinteer Saint Johns Team
Kilmacud Crokes Team