/ GAA

Kilmacud Crokes 1-09 Crossmaglen Rangers 0-07

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Mar 2009 13:05

Kilmacud goalscorer Mark Davoren celebrates his first half strike Kilmacud's Pat Burke is challenged by Crossmaglen's John Donaldson
Kilmacud goalscorer Mark Davoren celebrates his first half strike Kilmacud's Pat Burke is challenged by Crossmaglen's John Donaldson

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Kilmacud Crokes ensured the AIB All-Ireland Club Football title stayed in Dublin as they overcame favourites Crossmaglen Rangers in front of 32,952 at Croke Park today.

Mark Davoren's tenth-minute low drive past Paul Hearty saw the Stillorgan side lead 1-04 to 0-04 at the break.

Rangers reduced the deficit to two points in the second half, but scores from Mark Vaughan (four points) and Darren Magee (two) saw Paddy Carr's men finish strongly to complete a memorable year.

The Dubliners, hoping to emulate the success of city rivals St Vincent's last year, settled quickly despite the blustery conditions and Brian Kavanagh opened the scoring from play in the third minute.

It was a lead they would never relinquish and Vaughan doubled their advantage a minute later from a close range free, before Oisin McConville replied with a fine point off his left at the other end.

Vaughan was well fired up for the occasion and he added a second with a brilliantly executed free from distance in the eighth minute.

John Murtagh then squandered a good opening at the other end, pulling his effort left and wide when a point, or even a goal, looked possible.

The key moment of the match arrived in the tenth minute when Davoren struck the game's only goal, latching onto a fisted ball from Niall Corkery near the left endline and before hammering the ball low past Hearty in the Crossmaglen goal to push his side five points clear, 1-03 to 0-01.

The Dubliners defended resolutely throughout, with corner-forward Vaughan illustrating their industry by popping up two or three times to good effect in his own backline.

Tony Kernan, who came into the side in place of brother Stephen before throw-in, pointed from the first 45 of the afternoon in the 17th minute to reduce the deficit to four points.

McConville uncharacteristically pulled a left-wing free narrowly wide of the left post after 20 minutes, while Michael McNamee shot carelessly wild three minutes later to let Kilmacud off the hook.

Tony Kernan followed that with a narrowly missed 45 as the wides continued to mount up for the Armagh and Ulster kingpins.

Kavanagh split the posts with one of the best points of the half after dogged persistence from Vaughan and Pat Burke created the opening.

McConville converted a free just before the break to reduce the deficit to just one goal at the interval.

Tony Kernan struck the first point four minutes after the resumption from a 45 at the second attempt after McConville's initial goal-bound strike was pushed behind by goalkeeper David Nestor.

Both sides continued to squander chances before Darren Magee slotted over a fine point after 38 minutes.

Vaughan added another converted free to his tally, while a host of changes by both managers interrupted the flow of the game and led to a disjointed period of play.

Stephen Kernan pointed in the 50th minute after younger brother Aaron set him up to edge Crossmaglen back to within three points.

Two minutes later, McConville's fourth point of the day from a free reduced Kilmacud's lead to two points and it looked like we were in for a stirring finish.

However, Vaughan stepped up with a huge score at the other end after good work from Burke and Morrissey to restore the three-point cushion.

And Corkery kept his nerve to split the posts on the hour to put Kilmacud four points clear, while Magee registered his second point of the day to complete the scoring on a historic day for the Stillorgan club.

Crossmaglen Rangers: Paul Hearty; Brendan McKeown, Paul Kernan, Paul McKeown; Aaron Kernan, Francie Bellew, John Donaldson; Tony McEntee, David McKenna; Michael McNamee, John McEntee, Jamie Clarke; Tony Kernan, John Murtagh, Oisin McConville.

Kilmacud Crokes: David Nestor; Ross O'Carroll, Rory O'Carroll, Kevin Nolan; Brian McGrath, Paul Griffin, Cian O'Sullivan; Darren Magee, Niall Corkery; Liam Óg Ó hÉinneachain, Brian Kavanagh, Adrian Morrissey; Mark Vaughan, Mark Davoren, Pat Burke.

Referee: Gearóid Ó Conamha (Galway).