Kildangan go the extra yard to see off Crokes
KILDANGAN overcame hosts Kilmacud Crokes after extra-time in a thrilling showpiece decider to secure their first All-Ireland sevens crown.
Goals from Fergie Hayes and Tadgh Gallagher secured the title for the Tipperary club despite the best efforts of Ryan O'Dwyer, who scored 2-12 for the home team.
Both sides had shown excellent form heading into the final, with Kildangan comfortably dispatching O'Donovan Rossa (Antrim) and Mullagh (Galway), while Kilmacud had to see off a strong challenge from another Tipperary side, Holycross Ballycahill, at the last four stage.
A total of eight counties and 26 clubs were represented on the day, across four different venues, but it was fitting that Kildangan and Kilmacud Crokes made up the final pairing, as they were the most eye-catching sides.
It took only three minutes for Kildangan to show what they were about, as a goal from a 21-metre free by netminder Darragh Egan gave them an early lead. Kilmacud did respond well, O'Dwyer and James Burke were particularly prominent, but a late Eanna Gleeson point gave Kildangan a 1-5 to 0-7 midway advantage.
O'Dwyer had his seventh point of the game by the 21st minute, but Kildangan increased their lead to seven following a terrific goal by Tadgh Gallagher, and a point each from Gerry Slattery and Joe Gallagher.
This cushion soon moved up to eight, but Kilmacud hit back with a brace of goals from O'Dwyer before a stoppage-time point by Barry O'Rorke forced extra-time.
With the score 3-13 to 3-12 in Crokes favour moving into the final five minutes, Kildangan pushed on and goals from Hayes and Tadgh Gallagher, and a late free from captain Tommy Connors, gave Kildangan a deserved victory.
Scorers -- Kildangan: T Gallagher 2-3, G Slattery 1-2 (0-1 '65'), T Connors 0-4 (1f), D Egan 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), F Hayes 1-1, E Gleeson 0-2, J Gallagher 0-1. Kilmacud Crokes: R O'Dwyer 2-12 (1-6f), J Burke 1-1, N Corcoran, B O'Rorke, N O'Riordan 0-1 each.
Kildangan -- D Egan, M Minehan, F Hayes, E Gleeson, J Loughnane, T Gallagher, G Slattery, T Connors, R Gleeson, J Gallagher.
Kilmacud Crokes -- M Collins, N Corcoran, R O'Loughlin, B O'Rorke, S O'Rorke, N O'Riordan, R O'Dwyer, R Walsh, J Burke, G McMorrow.