Kilmacood removes 2018 Demons to brush Nas to one side and claim fifth Leinster SFC crown


Some demons drove into Croke Park this evening.

His final appearance at Last Leinster, the Kilmacud Crocs became the unintentional Goliath for David of Mullinalghata, the ogre in a fairy tale celebrated in every town and half-parish of the country.


“Three years ago, we were completely broke at Tullamore,” Shane Cunningham admitted from the podium at the Hogan Stand, when he became the fifth man for Captain Crocs to hold the Leinster title.

He did it tonight with an excellent defensive performance, keeping Nas off the scoreboard for the entire second half, and more effectively again without Paul Manion.


high drama.

Before the throw-in, news from the starting teams revealed three changes each to the line-up listed from the official schedule. Maniyan and Darragha were Kiran in the absence.

Any argument one way or the other had to be quickly reframed. All bets were off.


Manion’s knee injury was marked during the week, although he declared himself available on Thursday.

Kiran, whose value to Nas is at least equal to that of Manions to Crocs, was the most surprising outcast.

He hit 1-2 against the Shelmaliers in the Leinster semi-final at Nass and was their most dangerous forward in a year in which he had been manager-less before the Kildare semi-final.


You could make a strong argument that Nas could have lost three of his last four games, especially in the Leinster quarterfinals when Kirwan’s injury-time block found the Tullamore Net.

So no one needed to tell Crocs how dangerous an underdog with a sense of destiny could be in the Leinster finals.

The Dublin champion made life surprisingly difficult last month by hitting 17 wide kicks against Porterlington.

Here, he was much more prudent with his shot selection, Hill scoring from his first four shots at 16 end post.

Each time Crocs moved forward, Nas responded with magic of his own, receiving particular delight from his press at Connor Ferris’ kick-out.

Dermot Hanafein, one of the late changes to his team, was particularly quick and took two points from rising runs.

Eamon Callaghan tapped four freebies, while Tom Brown was a mid-’45s predator of energy.

But even then, doubts were that Crocs would be a little easier to manage than Nas without the absence of their star.

So gone.

The Crocs were a little more confident than their 0-8 to 0-7 half-time lead and they put Nass down in second with some admirable controlled possession games and a scintillating defensive effort.

By the second water break, Crocs had systematically extended their lead to four points and Nas had ruined his first three scoring chances of the game, making poor choices and showing signs of early frustration.

Rory O’Carroll was immense for Kroc during this spell, guarding the central channel of defense and benefiting from Nas’ instincts by lending an extra body to attacks whenever they broke through.

Dara Mullin kicks 0-3. Tom Fox scored 0-5, including three spectacular points from the game, each from outside ’45.

He only kicked four wides throughout the match, but more impressive again was to hold Nas for the entire second half without a score, a feature of his performance that began with a semi-final in his efforts to win a third All-Ireland title. was good for Connacht champions on January 29.

Scorers:

Kilmakud: T Fox 0-5 (2 F), D Mullin 0-3, C Pearson 0-2, A Jones, D O’Brien, C Dias, C Ferris (F) 0-1.

nose: E Callaghan 0-4 (4f), D Hanafin 0-2, P McDermott 0-1.

Teams –

Kilmakud – C. Ferris; A McGowan, R McGowan, M Mullin; D’O’Brien, R. O’Carroll, C. O’Shea; C Dias, C Casey; A. Jones, D. Mullin, T. Fox; C Pearson, S Cunningham, H Kenny. Members: S. Horan for Kenny (HT), C. O’Connor (49) for Pearson, A. Quinn (55) for Cunningham, Dee Jones (57) for Fox, Jay Murphy (62) for Dias

NAAS – Jay Rogers; C Daly, E Doyle, P Sullivan; B. Kane, B. Byron, P. McDermott; J Burke, J Cleary; T. Brown, S. Cullen, C. Joyce; L Griffin, E Callaghan, D Hanafin. Members: C McCarty (48) for Joyce, A. McDermott (55) for Kane, Jay McEvitt (55) for Cullen, S. Bergin (57) for Griffin, D. Gahin for Cleary (59)

Referee: P Maguire (Longford)