Chris Guckian, St. Jude's, and Hugh Kenny, Kilmacud Crokes, in Dublin SFC Final action at Parnell Park.
Chris Guckian, St. Jude's, and Hugh Kenny, Kilmacud Crokes, in Dublin SFC Final action at Parnell Park.

Dublin SFC Final: Kilmacud Crokes edge out St Jude's


Dublin SFC Final

Kilmacud Crokes 1-7 St Jude's 1-6

By Paul Keane at Parnell Park

Callum Pearson stole a dramatic Dublin SFC title success for Kilmacud Crokes with a 65th minute winning point at Parnell Park, securing a dream double of county titles for the club.

Attacker Pearson was only on the field a matter of minutes but had a huge impact, getting on the end of a patient passing move to split the posts for the winner - sealing his club's ninth football title.

It capped a terrific comeback from Crokes who, having already won the Dublin senior hurling title, are now double champions for the first time.

It appeared that opponents St Judes were going to make their own history by claiming a first ever title when they led by 1-4 to 0-2 with less than a third of the game to go.

But they couldn't kick on and in what was a repeat of the 2018 final, Crokes came out on top again with another substitute, Cian O'Connor, firing a 52nd minute goal that ignited the Stillorgan side's revival.

Paul Mannion scored four important points for Robbie Brennan's side too and they will return to action on December 5 in the AIB Leinster club SFC against Wolfe Tones of Meath in Navan.

Everything was in place beforehand for a cracking contest with the sun shining and even the electricity bursting back into life around 90 seconds before throw-in following a power outage in the area.

But that same energy didn't transfer to the players initially as they opened up in a cagey, conversative mood.

Referee Dave Feeney didn't call for the first water break until the 21st minute but even at that stage of the game, with a third of the match gone, neither team had registered a score.

Crokes had come closest early on but Dara Mullin's shot at goal was well smothered by the advancing Judes 'keeper Paul Copeland.

It wasn't as if both teams wasted a series of chances either with play held up between the two 45s for long stretches.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 23rd minute and, true to the odd pattern of the encounter, it was a goal. Alan Connolly struck it for St Judes after excellent running in the buildup from Kevin McManamon.

The Dublin great was a key figure for his team with much of their play being funnelled through the centre-forward.

Mannion responded with Crokes' opening point in the 25th minute, a rare piece of inspiration on the day as he curled over off his left foot from 30 metres.

The only other score of the half went to Judes and, typically, McManamon was involved as he began a move that involved Pat Spillane and ended with Darragh Kavanagh splitting the posts.

That left Judes 1-1 to 0-1 up at half-time, a scoreline they couldn't have expected but one that left them in a strong position.

Points early in the second-half from David Mannix and Connolly nudged Judes 1-3 to 0-1 clear and they retained a five-point lead with 42 minutes on the clock.

They couldn't push on for a famous win though and Crokes suddenly burst to life, outscoring their southside neighbours by 1-4 to 0-2 in the final quarter and hailing the heroics of Pearson at the death.

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Paul Mannion 0-4 (0-2f), Cian O'Connor 1-0, Conor Ferris 0-1 (0-1f), Aidan Jones 0-1, Callum Pearson 0-1.

Scorers for St Judes: Alan Connolly 1-1, David Mannix 0-3 (0-1f), Darragh Kavanagh 0-1, Brian Coakley 0-1 (0-1 45).

Kilmacud Crokes: Conor Ferris; Dan O'Brien, Michael Mullin, Ross McGowan; Andrew McGowan, Cillian O'Shea, Rory O'Carroll; Ben Shovlin, Craig Dias; Shane Horan, Dara Mullin, Tom Fox; Hugh Kenny, Paul Mannion, Shane Cunningham.

Subs: Cian O'Connor for Fox (42), Conor Casey for Shovlin (47), Callum Pearson for Kenny (50), Aidan Jones for O'Carroll (53).

St Judes: Paul Copeland; Alex Hassett, Jack McGuire, Oisin Manning; Tom Lahiff, Mark Sweeney, Chris Guckian; Colm Murphy, Pat Spillane; David Sheehy, Kevin McManamon, Darragh Kavanagh; Niall Coakley, Alan Connolly, David Mannix.

Subs: Diarmuid McLoughlin for Kavanagh (37), Ronan Joyce for Sheehy (50), Rob Martina for Manning (53), Brian Coakley for Niall Coakley (53), Seamus Ryan for Murphy (60).

Referee: Dave Feeney (Parnells).