Saturday, November 19, 2022

claireporter

A dream double of AIB Leinster club senior title successes remains on the cards for Kilmacud Crokes after their footballers cruised through to next month’s provincial decider in impressive fashion.

A commanding Croke Park display, teed up with an early goal from Andrew McGowan, eased the holders through to a December 4th final clash with The Downs of Westmeath.

With the club’s hurlers due to face St Mullin’s of Carlow in their semi-final, both Crokes teams may very well feature in a Croke Park double header early next month, potentially raising a problem for their one dual player, Brian Sheehy.

It is good news principally for the club though and after a scare from Portarlington at the same stage of last year’s competition, and on the same Croke Park pitch, there were no such issues this time.

The five-time Leinster champions led virtually from gun to tape and could afford to take off Galway star Shane Walsh, who struck 0-3, goalscorer McGowan and Man of the Match Craig Dias well before full-time.

There was no Mannion due to an ankle injury, but it didn’t prevent Crokes from marching confidently through to the final, and they are now just 60 minutes from a first ever back to back of provincial titles.

They will hope that their defence is as impressive again next month with Portarlington held to 0-4 overall and their first score from open play did not arrive until the 47th minute.

Earlier in the day, The Downs from Westmeath made their first Leinster final in 50 years after edging Ratoath by 2-12 to 17 points.

Meanwhile, Tourlestrane of Sligo have ended a 40-year wait for a spot in the Connacht Club Senior Football final

They beat St Mary’s Kiltoghert 0-6 to 0-8 in Carrick-on-Shannon.

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