KILMACUD CROKES 2-11, LUCAN SARSFIELDS 0-7
Two second-half goals from Jude Sweeney proved crucial as Kilmacud Crokes registered an ultimately facile 10-point win over a disappointing Lucan Sarsfields in their dour Evening Herald Dublin SHC 'A' semi-final at Parnell Park on Saturday evening.
The scrappy nature of Sweeney's strikes was a fitting reflection of a contest that failed to ignite with Crokes far more economical and clinical when their opportunities arose.
In contrast, Lucan struggled to hit the heights of their quarter-final win over O'Toole's last weekend and a tally of just three points from play over the hour was an accurate barometer of the difficulties they experienced in piercing a well-organised Kilmacud defence.
Niall Corcoran, Bill O'Carroll and Ronan Walsh were exceptional in delivering their primary duties while the busy Dillon Mulligan ensured John McCaffrey and Kevin Fitzgerald never got a moment's peace in the midfield exchanges.
A sublime Kevin O'Loughlin point from a sideline ball in the opening minute was sadly the highlight of an unsatisfactory, sometimes bitter opening half with many protagonists embroiled in petty exchanges with their opposite numbers. This ensured a staccato affair with neither side allowed to hit full stride although O'Loughlin added another glorious score, this time from open play, to double Crokes' advantage by the third minute. By the end of the first quarter, Lucan had finally begun to avail of plentiful possession with points by Tommy Somers, Chris Crummey and Mick May levelling the scores but a number of careless wides were already appearing to undermine their ambitions.
May's point in the 15th minute was critically Sarsfields' final score from play and although the impressive Seán McGrath briefly restored Crokes' lead, a brace of Kevin O'Reilly frees allowed Lucan a narrow 0-5 to 0-4 interval lead.
An adroit swivel and shot from McGrath four minutes upon the restart restored parity before the turning point arrived six minutes later as O'Reilly crashed a thunderous free off Matt Collins' crossbar with a point there for the taking.
Within two minutes, Crokes had plundered the crucial opening goal and in keeping with the sub-standard fare on offer, it arrived as Barry O'Rorke's mishit point attempt struck Kevin Roche's upright with Sweeney, to his credit, following up well to crash home from close range.
An excellent Ross O'Carroll point followed immediately and the contest was effectively settled when Sweeney swept to the net after Lucan had failed to deal adequately with a lengthy delivery from McGrath at the end of the third quarter.
Lucan became increasingly bedraggled as the half evolved with the dismissals of Crummey and Aidan Roche ensuring a torrid final quarter in which late points by McGrath, O'Loughlin and O'Rorke added insult to injury.
Scorers - Kilmacud Crokes: J Sweeney 2-0; S McGrath 0-5 (1f, 1 '65'); K O'Loughlin 0-3 (0-1 sideline); R O'Dwyer, Ross O'Carroll, B O'Rorke 0-1 each. Lucan Sarsfields: K O'Reilly 0-4 (4f); T Somers, C Crummey, M May 0-1 each.
Kilmacud Crokes: M Collins; J Doughan, N Corcoran, R Walsh; B O'Carroll, Rory O'Carroll, R O'Loughlin; C Clinton, D Mulligan; K O'Loughlin, R O'Dwyer, D Kelly; S McGrath, J Sweeney, Ross O'Carroll. Subs: B O'Rorke for Kelly (half-time), N Ó Riordáin for Sweeney (57), A de Paor for B O'Carroll (60), G McMorrow for R O'Loughlin (62), D Browne for O'Dwyer (64).
Lucan Sarsfields: K Roche; C Dooley, P Kelly, B McGarry; M McCaffrey, R Lambert, T Somers; K Fitzgerald, J McCaffrey; P Carroll, M May, A Roche; K O'Reilly, C Crummey, T Lee. Subs: A Whyte for Lee (40), P Brennan for Carroll (48), E Ó Conghaile for May (52), B Aird for McGarry (57).
Referee: F McGreevy (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER).