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We have to capital-ise

NIALL CORCORAN was on the last Kilmacud Crokes team to reach the Evening Herald Dublin Senior Hurling 'A' Champonship final.

That was in 2008. Crokes are back on the main Parnell Park stage this Sunday where they will meet Cuala (3.45).

Boden beat them in 2008. The 'Boden Boys were beating everybody else as well. They would go on and secure the famed five-in-a-row.

"The championship is a bit different this year. When 'Boden were knocked out, it changed the landscape for everybody," muses Niall.

"We were all surprised to see them not get out of the group.

"They were the favourites to win the title again, especially after their dominance of recent years.

"But there will be new champions now - ourselves or Cuala, so it's up to both sides to make the best of it." The Glenalbyn side carry a 100 per cent record into the final. In the group, they beat St Pat's (Palmerstown), Craobh ChiarĂ¡in and Ballinteer St John's.

"We weren't at our best against Pat's, but we got the result. The big win was our second game against Craobh. They have been a real bogey team for us over the years. We have a good squad. We have a bit more experience now, and we have been learning over the years."

Crokes defeated St Brigid's in the quarter-final and then overcame Lucan in the semi. "The Lucan game was a huge battle, especially in the first half. It was nip and tuck then.

"Semi-finals are never easy. Lucan are a quality team. They have good players all around the pitch.

"But in the second half we managed to get a couple of goals and that settled us down, and we went on from there. We were just thrilled to have come through a semi-final."

Niall played his part. He always seems to have time, no matter how heavy the traffic. He keeps it simple.

One of his early heroes was Gerry McInerney, the man with the white boots. That was the era when the only other person wearing white boots was Twiggy.

Niall is made of Galway granite but he's now a born-again Dub, and he's hoping that Anthony Daly's fifth year on the bridge will repeat the heroics of 2011.

But for now, there is only one thing on his mind, and that's Dublin hurling's Super Sunday.

"It should be a cracking final. Cuala are an excellent young side.

"They are having a tremendous season, and that was an impressive semi-final win over Crumlin.

"The fact that it's a derby makes it more interesting.

"It will be such a big occasion for both clubs."

The significance of being involved in the most important hurling day of the year is not lost on Niall. He's a club coach at Crokes. Spreading the gospel on week's like this is a bit easier.

"It's a real boost getting to the final," he says.

"Hurling has been booming at Kilmacud in the last few years, and we have been doing well at underage level."

If Crokes do manage to bring home the chalice, the Stillorgan sidewalks will, once again, be full of the youngest swingers in town.


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