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Larriers set to edge out Crokes in tough battle

EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SHC GROUP B

Kilmacud Crokes v O'Toole's

(Silver Park, Tonight, 6.45)

THERE should be a decent crowd at this one. The Larriers are a big draw.

They never hide their ambition -- they'd love to lift the Claret Jug of Dublin hurling.

O'Toole's judge themselves on their Championship deeds. Last year they were due a pat on the back, although they themselves didn't think so.

They pushed Ballyboden all the way in the semi-final. It went to a replay. Boden took charge. O'Toole's left Parnell Park with disappointment and regret. They felt they should have done better. But forcing 'Boden to a replay is not a bad day's work. O'Toole's keep injecting youth into their side.

Young Paddy Carton is one of their best discoveries. He's a cousin of Michael and Peadar. No wonder he's good.

Brendan McLoughlin is still one of the best goalkeepers in the business. In front of him he can see calibre like Philip Brennan, Jody Bastow, Kevin Ryan, Danny Webster, Liam Ryan and the fabulous Flynner.

Crokes are a tidy side. There's a commendable resolve about them. They put it in, time after time.

Two years ago they were in the final. They'd love to inch back towards that podium.

They enjoy the scenic surroundings of Silver Park. The trees and the mountains, and the audience tight to the stage.

They beat Faughs there in a terrific game in May. They have some gifted personnel -- among them Gary McMorrow, Niall Corcoran, Rob and Kevin O'Loughlin, Rory O'Carroll (if fit), Ronan Walsh, Conor Clinton, Barry O'Rorke and Seán McGrath. It could be a Stillorgan Sizzler. Two teams with big ambitions regarding the small ball.

SO FAR: Kilmacud Crokes -- Lost to Ballyboden by 11 points. Beat Faughs by 2 points. O'Toole's: Beat Ballyboden by 4 points. Beat St Patrick's (P) by 2 points.

VERDICT: O'Toole's.


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