Crokes kill off Ballinteer to ensure final say against Cuala
Kilmacud Crokes comfortably advanced to the final of the Dublin Minor 'A' Football Championship following a routine 0-15 to 0-4 win over Ballinteer St John's at O'Toole Park on Sunday lunchtime.
Seán Bedford proved a thorn in Ballinteer's side throughout, kicking six points from placed balls in addition to proving a handful at full-forward.
Most of Bedford's damage was done in the opening half as he availed of some indiscipline in the St John's defence to put clear daylight between the sides, with Ballinteer replying through a point from Dublin minor panellist Sam Tully.
However, Tully was forced to depart the contest after experiencing a shoulder injury in the fifth minute with St John's struggling to make an impact despite the best efforts of Brian McGeary, Mick Mitchell and Enda Larkin.
Leading by 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval, Kilmacud continued to dominate after the restart with midfielder Conor Casey illuminating the encounter with some superb fielding.
Another crucial feature of Crokes' success was the impact of half-backs Andrew Mac Gabhann and Tom Curran, as both made well-timed runs up the field to kick valuable scores for their side.
Although the impressive Cillian O'Connor kicked two points for St John's from limited possession, they proved of cosmetic value as Kilmacud prevailed through four points from Dara Mullin and strong outings from Ronan Horgan and Fionn Robinson.
"We are really looking forward to the final," said Kilmacud manager Eamon Keating.
"Admittedly, we have come through the easier half of the draw and I would expect that Cuala will be a very tough proposition in the final."
Cuala produced a controlled, disciplined display when deservedly accounting for Ballyboden St Enda's by 1-8 to 0-9 in the other semi-final.
The Dalkey outfit were indebted to a bright start and a goal from dual player Seán Treacy in the fifth minute handed them the perfect opening.
However, Ballyboden replied impressively with Shane Clayton and Warren Egan to the fore from the opening whistle and they reduced their arrears to two points following a Cian Bates point and Colm Basquel's free.
That momentum was maintained through a score by James Madden, and Egan's point soon after ensured that St Enda's enjoyed a 0-4 to 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Cuala bounced back through scores from Con O'Callaghan and a Treacy free and the ebb and flow continued with points by Mattie Timmons and Basquel ensuring Boden trailed by just 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval.
The second half was similarly tight with Cuala showing well through the efforts of Martin Cahalin and Seán Drummond and they kept their scoreboard ticking over with O'Callaghan and Seán Brennan on the mark.
Basquel's third free of the afternoon and an excellent point by Madden kept matters tight but Cuala held the upper-hand as O'Callaghan and Killian Sheanon ensured St Enda's were kept at arm's length.
Despite Clayton kicking a late score, there was to be no late dramatics with both sides reduced to 14 men by the final whistle as Cuala advanced to meet southside rivals Kilmacud Crokes in the final.