Crokes head to Semple to take on Ballymun
Published 13/02/2013 | 09:50
AIB All Ireland Club Championships
Dr Crokes travel to the home of hurling in Thurles on Saturday next bidding to reach the senior football club championship final in Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.
Management of the Killarney side have made no secret of the fact that this has been their target since the first ball was kicked in the county championship and they have left no stone unturned in recent weeks with tough challenge games against county and college sides. The media are already playing up a meeting of Dr Crokes and Crossmaglen Rangers in a dream All Ireland final but no doubt their respective opponents on Saturday, Ballymun Kickhams and St Brigids will not have read that script.
The Dublin outfit has not exactly clocked up large scores to date in the championship but by the same token they have kept their opponents to a very manageable tally. No doubt, the experience Dr Crokes have gained over the last few years in this competition will stand to them on Saturday, but they will have to pull out all the stops against what is regarded as a very mobile Dublin fifteen.
Well it was not Finuge's day at Croke Park on Saturday evening last when they suffered defeat to Tyrone's Fr Rocks of Cookstown (1-9 to 0-6).
The Tyrone side looked the likelier winners for a lot of the game and the North Kerry side's cause was not helped when they were reduced to thirteen men in the final quarter. It was the Tyrone side's second title in three years thus becoming the first side to win more than one final in this grade. So a disappointing end to Eamonn Fitzmaurice's playing career but Finuge can be justifiably proud of having reached the final and can look forward to competing in the senior county football championship later in the year.
There were contrasting fortunes for Kenmare in the Junior semi final second replay at headquarters however, and their brave decision to agree to a request to play the game in Croke Park was rewarded with a fine victory over Castleknock of Dublin in what turned out to be another pulsating game.
Paul O'Connor lived up to his growing reputation with a man of the match performance, but all of the team seemed to have stepped up to the plate when required most. Ballinasloe from Galway have been waiting patiently for their final opponents and it remains to be seen what effect the three game trilogy will have on the Kenmare lads.
The likely date for the final is Saturday or Sunday week next in Croke Park.