AIB Leinster Club SHC: Kilmacud cruise to emphatic win
AIB Leinster Club SHC Quarter-Final
Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin) 5-19 Raharney (Westmeath) 0-15
By Paul Keane at TEG Cusack Park
A masterful performance full of attacking threat and cracking goals elevated Kilmacud Crokes to a big win in the AIB Leinster club SHC quarter-finals.
Ronan Hayes and Alex Considine struck two goals each at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar while goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons also added a late major from a free as the Dublin champions thrust their chests out.
Their reward is a semi-final clash with Clough Ballacolla in a fortnight in Portlaoise, a game that could be a cracker given the Laois champions' impressive win over Rapparees yesterday evening.
It'll be a first semi-final for Crokes since losing out to Ballyhale Shamrocks at that stage in 2014.
Crokes were dominant through against the 14-times Westmeath champions for whom Killian Doyle scored two thirds of their points.
Crokes were lively from the off, pointing through Considine after just 20 seconds and looking dangerous each time they probed forward.
Hayes and Fergal Whitely were particularly influential with the latter setting up early scores for Dara Purcell and Hayes.
Hayes' first goal put clear daylight between the teams just before the first water break, leaving Crokes 1-5 to 0-3 clear.
It was a memorable strike as he turned down the opportunity for an easy point and raced goalwards from the right, blasting to the far corner of the net.
Three minutes later, Hayes hit opposite corner of the net, this time after a powerful run in from the left of goals.
The strike was reminiscent of the goal he scored at Parnell Park which forced extra-time earlier this month in the county final defeat of Na Fianna.
Leading 2-8 to 0-8 at half-time, Crokes were well positioned and pushed on with third quarter goals from Considine.
Just like his great start to the first-half, Considine hit the net within seconds of the second-half restarting too, drifing in from the right and burying the ball low beyond the Raharney 'keeper.
The corner-forward repeated the trick in the 45th minute though cut inside his man on the left of goals this time before releasing a sidewinder to the net.
Crokes led 4-12 to 0-12 at the second water break and pushed on impressively from there, scoring 1-4 without reply in the closing minutes to seal the 19-point win in some style.
Their fifth goal came through goalkeeper Gibbons though he was as surprised as everyone else in the ground when his long-range free flew to the Raharney net in stoppage time.
Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Ronan Hayes 2-6 (0-5f), Alex Considine 2-1, Dara Purcell 0-5, Eddie Gibbons 1-0 (1-0f), Caolan Conway 0-3, Fergal Whitely 0-1, Lorcan McMullan 0-1, O O'Rorke 0-1, Marc Howard 0-1.
Scorers for Raharney: Killian Doyle 0-10 (0-5f, 0-1 65), Ciaran Doyle 0-1, Eamon Cunneen 0-1, Eoghan Ahearne 0-1, Joey Boyle 0-1, Eoin Keyes 0-1.
Kilmacud Crokes: Eddie Gibbons; Brian Sheehy, Bill O'Carroll, Jamie Clinton; Davy Crowe, Mark Grogan, Padhraic Linehan; Dillon Mulligan, Lorcan McMullan; Caolan Conway, Fergal Whitely, Dara Purcell; Oisin O'Rorke, Ronan Hayes, Alex Considine.
Subs: Marc Howard for Considine 46, Cian O Cathasaigh for Linehan 46, Cian MacGabhann for Hayes 53, Shane Veale for O'Carroll 53, Fionn O Ceallaigh for O'Rorke 55.
Raharney: Aaron McHugh; Darren Finn, Conor McKeogh, Robbie Greville; David Hickey, Sean Quinn, Mark Glennon; Cormac Boyle, Eamon Cunneen; Joey Boyle, Rory Keyes, Killian Doyle; Eoghan Ahearne, Ciaran Doyle, Eoin Keyes.
Subs: James Goonery for R Keyes 37, David Weir for McKeogh 42, John Shaw for Ahearne 56, Brian McGrath for Glennon 60, Conor Jordan for E Keyes 60.
Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).