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Wise Crokes can kil' Syls

LIKE they used to sing in the old Opal Fruit ad, this is a match that was made to make your mouth water.

They met in the fourth round two years ago. Crokes won it by three points. They went on to secure gold.

Paddy Carr was the leader of that Páirc de Burca expedition. Now Hugh Kenny is the man in the Stillorgan tower.

Gabriel Bannigan has been the Malahide manager for a good few years now. Syls have been the Division 1 champs in that time. They'd now love to add a championship title.

They recorded one of the most notable results in the tournament when they dismissed the recently twice runners-up, St Oliver Plunkett's/ER.

Syls came with a late burst to advance. Trainer Paul Clarke has the Saints flying like Aer Lingus.

Kilmacud also left it late to see off Ballyboden the last day in the replay. Pat Burke's strike five minutes from time decided it.


Crokes have such an experienced look about them. Their back six don't believe in sharing the sandwiches.

The O'Carroll brothers, Rory and Ross, are among them. They helped Kilmacud hurlers to their first Dublin SHC 'A' crown in over a quarter of a century last Sunday.

Ronan Ryan is also a valued member of the celebrated six-pack, and Pat Duggan and Darren Magee have been busy shovelling coal in the boiler-house.

Declan Kelleher always gets through a mountain of work, and Craig Dias and Paul Mannion can pot the reds.

Also expert at finding the pocket is the silky Syls corner-forward, Miceál McCarty, who had a major impact against Plunkett's.

So did Pádraig Bracken and Ross Hazley at midfield. Their duel with Duggan and Magee will make for an interesting crossword puzzle.

Gavin McArdle, Brian Sexton and Ronan Walsh bring diligence to the Broomfield back door. The Crokes half-forward, Liam óg ó héineacháin, always brings along his arts and crafts kit. So far, Kilmacud have beaten St Maur's and St Peregrine's before accounting for Boden.

Syls lost on the opening night to Templeogue Synge Street but bounced back with handsome wins over O'Toole's and Raheny prior to that big result against Plunkett's. Syls will need another big performance now. And so will Crokes if they are to tog out again in their Sunday semi-final best against either Templeogue or Brigid's.

VERDICT: Kilmacud Crokes