McCrabbe back with a bang for the Craobh

Rnn Mac Lochlainn

CRAOBH CHIARÁIN ...................... 2-14

ST PAT'S, PALMERSTOWN ............... 1-9

A DOMINANT first-half display helped Craobh Chairáin qualify for the quarter-finals of the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship following a comfortable eight point win over in this Group A encounter at Parnell Park last night.

There was little doubting Craobh's superiority on the night with Alan McCrabbe, returning from a shoulder injury, giving a polished performance at centrefield in addition to amassing 1-10 of his side's tally.

In a sloppy opening, McCrabbe converted two frees and further scores from Robbie Mahon and the busy Francis Usanga pushed the Donnycarney men 0-4 to 0-1 ahead by the end of the first quarter with Peter Keaney recording Pats' sole score in the first 27 minutes.

The game changed irrevocably in the final four minutes of the half as first McCrabbe converted a 30th minute penalty following a foul on David Keane and within seconds Peter O'Boyle hammered home an angled drive to build an 11-point gap.

The half ended with Keith Elliott being dismissed for Chiaráins and two late scores from Lee Dunne and Shane Stapleton gave St Patrick's a degree of hope at the interval.

When Noel Sweeney swept to the net within four minutes of the restart, it should have provided Pat's with a springboard but Craobh showed a wealth of experience in nullifying their numerical disadvantage and tagged on scores.

Derek O'Reilly kept the shackles on Liam Rushe as Pat's tried in vain to eat into their deficit but points from Graham Dunne and Aidan Glennon aside, they lacked the necessary guile to launch an unlikely comeback.

SCORERS - Craobh Chiaráin: A McCrabbe 1-10 (1-0 pen, 0-7f, 0-1 '65', 0-1 sideline), P O'Boyle 1-0, G Ennis 0-2, R Mahon, F Usanga 0-1 each. St Patrick's, Palmerstown: G Dunne, L Dunne 0-3 each, N Sweeney 1-0, P Keaney, S Stapleton (f), A Glennon 0-1 each.

CRAOBH CHIARáIN: S Chester; S Ennis, K Elliott, Damien O'Reilly; D Kelly, Derek O'Reilly, S McDonnell; G Kelly, A McCrabbe; G Ennis, F Usanga, R Mahon; P O'Boyle, K Ryan, D Keane. Subs: P Purtell for S Ennis (47), A Brophy for McDonnell (58), E Conroy for Keane (62).

ST PAT'S, PALMERSTOWN: D Gallagher; G Dunne, D Byrne, C O'Toole; P Keaney, K Ward, B O'Hanlon; G Kelly, A Glennon; S Stapleton, L Dunne, N Sweeney; L Rushe, D O'Hanlon, D Rushe. Sub: C Dolan for D Rushe (52).

REF: E Mullarkey (Lucan Sarsfields).