Score harsh on Syls after Crokes scare
GAA Club Football Championships: Kilmacud Cr 2-17 Sylvester's 0-15
Don't be fooled by the scoreline. Kilmacud Crokes just about managed to leave Parnell Park on Sunday with the shirts on their backs after St Sylvester's pushed them to the pin of their collars with a resilient second-half display.
Playing with a strong breeze, the Malahide men were within a score of their opponents when Callum Pearson was adjudged to have been fouled with a minute to go in the game.
It was a contentious decision to say the least, but up stepped Paul Mannion to convert past Michael Shiels into his bottom left corner.
Pearson would strike deep into injury time for Crokes' second goal to secure a very flattering eight-point victory for Johnny Magee's men.
Sylvester's had been playing catch-up from the time Andy McGowan had pointed inside the first minute and by the 12th minute, when former Dublin minor Shane Cunningham pointed to move Crokes six points clear, it looked as if Sylvester's might have a long afternoon ahead of them.
Cunnigham was the sixth Crokes man at that stage to get his name on the scoresheet, with three of those scores coming in the space of 60 seconds.
By contrast Sylvester's were made to work hard for their scores, but there was no shortage of endeavour from Jack Sheedy's men, with a burst of pace from Glen Hazley setting up a point for Ed Walsh on 18 minutes.
By this stage Sylvester's had brought a halt to Crokes' deluge of scores, with Micheal McCarthy putting four between the sides.
Mannion would end Crokes' scoring rout before Walsh, despite the attention of two or three Crokes defenders, sent over a terrific point from the left.
However, Sylvester's survived a goal scare before the break, with Shiel putting out a close-in effort from Pat Burke for a 45 which was converted by Cian O'Connor, and with an additional point from Shane Cunnigham it left Crokes up by 0-10 to 0-4 at the break.
The game might well have ended as a contest shortly after the restart, when Shane Horan having been put in by Dara Mullin, blazed over.
It was as much a godsend to the neutral as it was to Sylvester's, with Jack Hazley turning the screw for the Malahide men over the next couple of minutes.
Moved to the edge of the square, he was more than a handful for his marker and off two long balls he registered points each side of a point from Cunningham.
Crucially,Crokes would pitch in with a brace from from Horan and Pearson, but Sylvester's, despite calling ashore two key forwards in Alex Wright and Ronan Palmer, took full advantage of the strong breeze to send over a series of points from Walsh and his first cousin McCarthy.
And after McCarthy had pointed from the left, a Walsh free brought it back to a single score with seven minutes remaining.
McCarthy switched flanks to put two between the sides shortly after before Cunningham popped up with a much-needed Crokes score following good link-up play between Mannion and Mullin.
Then came the crucial moment of the game when a quick attacking move saw Pearson upended, and Mannion made no mistake with the subsequent spot kick.
A McCarthy free meant that the game was still in the balance before Pearson setlled matters with a slick flinish in the closing moments.
Kilmacud Crokes: David Nestor, Liam Flatman, Andy McGowan 0-1, Aidan Jones, Cian O Connor, Ross McGowan, Aidan Jones, Cian O Connor 0-1(0-1 45), Ross McGowan, Ronan Ryan, Craig Dias 0-1, Conor Casey, Shane Cunningham 0-3, Paul Mannion 1-2(1-0 pen), Shane Horan 0-3, Pat Burke 0-2(0-2f), Callum Pearson 1-3, Dara Mullin. Subs: Cillian O'Shea for Ryan (43), Stephen Williams 0-1 for Burke (45), Nathan Nolan for Jones (53), Kevin Dyas for Flatman (60), James Murphy for R McGowan (60)
St Sylvester's: Michael Shiel, Paudi White, James Walsh, Johnny Peacock, Gavin Peacock, Gavin McArdle, Glen Hazley, Ciaran McArdle, Karl Archbold, Ed Walsh 0-7(0-4f), Dan Brennan, Andrew Hartnett, Ronan Palmer, Alex Wright, Jack Hazley 0-2, Micheal McCarthy 0-6(0-1f). Subs: Andrew Cunningham for Alex Wright (43), Jamie Kennedy for Hartnett (50),
Referee: James King