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Conal Keaney scored four points for Ballyboden St Enda's against Kilmacud Crokes.
Conal Keaney scored four points for Ballyboden St Enda's against Kilmacud Crokes.

Keaney inspires Ballyboden

Dublin SHC Final replay


By Paul Keane at Parnell Park

Conal Keaney rolled back the years with another starring display as Ballyboden St Enda's claimed the Dublin SHC title at the second attempt.

Held to a draw a week ago at Parnell Park, Joe Fortune's side trailed by two points at half-time in this replay but turned in a strong second-half to claimed their first title since 2013.

Veteran attacker Keaney was terrific and hit four points from play while fellow county man Paul Ryan hit 1-5 including a clever 37th minute goal from a free.

That goal put 'Boden ahead and they never relinquished that lead from there on despite never been fully out of the woods either.

There was still just a point between them in injury-time but late points from Ryan and Dublin football star Colm Basquel, who came on as a sub, sealed the win.

Ballyboden will return to Parnell Park in a week to play Clonkill of Westmeath in the Leinster club championship while for Crokes it's a third final in a row to lose by three points.

The drawn game didn't catch fire until late on last weekend but this was thrill-a-minute stuff from the early stages.

Marc Howard opened the scoring for Crokes after just 20 seconds but 'Boden took over for a period to register 1-2 without reply.

Conor McCormack tapped in the goal from close range and added a point during that early blitzkrieg as 'Boden moved 1-2 to 0-1 clear.

The five-in-a-row champions between 2007 and 2011 opened up an ominous five-point lead after 20 minutes when they pushed 1-6 to 0-4 clear.

Keaney reprised his personal duel with Ross O'Carroll and escaped the Crokes defender for one of 'Boden scores.

But the Firhouse Road outfit only scored one point before the break as Crokes outscored them by 1-5 to 0-1 between the 21st minute and half-time.

It was some turnaround and hinged on Howard's withdrawal with an injury picked up in the course of winning a 26th minute penalty.

Oisin O'Rorke took the placed ball in Howard's absence and while his shot was saved the corner-forward seemed energised by the miss and reeled off 1-3 in the space of seven minutes.

Two of his points came from play and he scored a fine injury-time goal after a high ball in from Shane Veale was cleverly laid off.

Crokes were now 1-9 to 1-7 clear at half-time though their lead only lasted a matter of minutes into the second-half.

A 37th minute Ryan goal from a free, when his low drive caught out the Crokes defence, moved Ballyboden back into the lead and this time they retained their advantage until full-time.

They were never comfortable in those closing stages though and relied on points from substitutes Paul Doherty and James Roche to keep their noses just in front.

Doherty's 43rd minute point left 'Boden four up with a 2-12 to 1-11 advantage but Crokes got the margin down to just one late on.

O'Rorke, who hit 1-7 in all, kept Crokes right in with back to back converted frees while 'Boden brought on county football star Basquel to bolster their attack.

Basquel's direct running troubled Crokes and after watching Ryan put 'Boden two clear in injury-time, Basquel then added another himself and punched the air in delight as their fans began to celebrate.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda's: Paul Ryan 1-5 (1-4fs, 0-1 s/l), Conor McCormack 1-1, Conal Keaney 0-4, Aidan Mellett 0-2, Paul Doherty 0-1, James Roche 0-1, Colm Basquel 0-1.

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Oisin O'Rorke 1-7 (6fs), Marc Howard 0-3 (2fs), Fergal Whitely 0-1, Ronan Hayes 0-1, Caolan Conway 0-1, Alex Considine 0-1, Cian MacGabhann 0-1 (0-1f).

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: Gary Maguire; Shane Durkin, Luke Corcoran, David O'Connor; Dean Curran, Simon Lambert, James Madden; Niall McMorrow, David Curtin; Niall Ryan, Conal Keaney, Conor Dooley; Conor McCormack, Paul Ryan, Aidan Mellett.

Subs: Stephen O'Connor for Curtin h/t, Paul Doherty for N Ryan 34, James Roche for Dooley 50, Malachy Travers for Lambert 55, Colm Basquel for McCormack 59.

KILMACUD CROKES: Matt Collins; Bill O'Carroll, Cian MacGabhann, Niall Corcoran; Damien Kelly, Ryan O'Dwyer, Ross O'Carroll; Lorcan McMullan, Fergal Whitely; Sean McGrath, Caolan Conway, Shane Veale; Ronan Hayes, Marc Howard, Oisin O'Rorke.

Subs: Alex Considine for Howard 24, Jamie Clinton for Corcoran 35, Darragh Jones for O'Dwyer 38, Darragh Butler for O'Carroll 45.

REFEREE: Jason O Buachalla (Setanta).

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