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Dublin SHC: Crokes make impressive start

Dublin Senior Hurling Championship


By Paul Keane at Parnell Park

It was fitting that when Ballyboden St Enda's and Kilmacud Crokes resumed competitive action at Parnell Park this afternoon, it was against each other.

Their worlds have revolved around eachother in recent seasons with the southside outfits contesting two Dublin SHC finals in 2018, 'Boden winning the replay.

The clubs' last game before the Covid-19 emergency was against eachother too, 'Boden winning again on that occasion back in march.

Four months on, and the GAA world now a considerably different place, Crokes tapped into the mood of new beginnings by exerting their authority with a big SHC Round 1 win.

Goals from Ronan Hayes, 2, Mark Howard and Alex Considine, three of which arrived in the second-half, left Crokes with a dozen points to spare at full-time.

That less than a hundred spectators were on hand to watch, dotted throughout the main stand and many in face masks, underlined the new reality for players and clubs.

Even before a ball was pucked the absence of a match programme - another new reality of GAA games in the Covid era - made the basics of player identification a little trickier.

Water breaks are novel too as are the audible moans and groans of players and coaches.

Kilmacud had little to groan about though as they gauged the temperature of this game for the first 25 minutes or so before increasing the heat and burning off 'Boden.

Mark Grogan, Kilmacud Crokes, in action against Conor McKeon, Ballyboden St Enda's, at Parnell Park.
Mark Grogan, Kilmacud Crokes, in action against Conor McKeon, Ballyboden St Enda's, at Parnell Park.

The sides were level at 0-8 apiece when Hayes capitalised with a 27th minute penalty conversion for Crokes following a foul on Marc Howard.

Caolan Conway and top scorer Oisin O'Rorke, who was later sent off, added points and the Glenalbyn men led 1-10 to 0-8 at half-time.

Considine's goal for Crokes in the 37th minute and another from Howard in the 43rd minute, a brilliant score after a darting run down the left, ultimately killed the contest.

Fergal Whitely added points for Crokes who barely felt the absence of O'Rorke in the final quarter as sub Fionn O Ceallaigh and then Hayes with his second goal embossed the scoreline.

Conal Keaney, who hadn't featured for Dublin in the National League before the lockdown, played the whole game for 'Boden and scored two points though his side were no match for a crisper, sharper and fitter looking Crokes.

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Oisin O'Rorke 0-7 (0-5f, 0-2 65), Ronan Hayes 2-0 (pen), Marc Howard 1-2 (0-1f), Alex Considine 1-1, Fergal Whitely 0-3, Sean McGrath 0-2, Cian MacGabhann 0-1 (1f), Caolan Conway 0-1, Fionn O Ceallaigh 0-1.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda's: Paul Ryan 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 s/l, 0-1 65), Niall McMorrow 0-2, Aidan Mellett 0-2, Niall Ryan 0-2, Conal Keaney 0-2, Shane Durkin 0-1, Paul Doherty 0-1.

Kilmacud Crokes: Matt Collins; Jamie Clinton, Brian Sheehy, Naomhan O Riordain; Bill O'Carroll, Mark Grogan, Cian MacGabhann; Fergal Whitely, Dillon Mulligan; Marc Howard, Sean McGrath, Caolan Conway; Alex Considine, Ronan Hayes, Oisin O'Rorke.

Subs: Shane Veale for Conway 46, Ross O'Carroll for Mulligan 54, Fionn O Ceallaigh for Considine 54, Eddie Gibbons for McGrath 56, Jim Gibbons for O Riordain 59.

Ballyboden St Enda's: Finn McGarry; Stephen O'Connor, Simon Lambert, James Madden; Paddy Dunleavy, Shane Durkin, Dean Curran; Niall McMorrow, Conor McKeon; Conal Keaney, David Curtin, Sean McDonnell; Niall Ryan, Aidan Mellett, Paul Ryan.

Subs: Paul Doherty for McDonnell 35, Luke Corcoran for Durkin 39, Luke McDwyer for Curtin 39, Kenny Wigglesworth for Dunleavy 56.

REFEREE: Sean Stack.

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