By Micil Glennon
Ballymun Kickhams defender Alan Hubbard says the key to their All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final success over Dr Crokes was their mean defence.
The Dublin champions held the Kerry forwards, led by Colm Cooper, to nine scores in a 1-10 to 0-09 win in Semple Stadium.
Hubbard told RTÉ Sport: “We were solid at the back and it was great, it’s the driving force of the team and thankfully the forwards chipped in a with a couple of points to help.
“We did [have a few nervous moments]. They had a penalty and all. We knew we were going to get a very tough game, they are a serious outfit and they have a lot of experience throughout their team but thankfully we were able to stem the tide and we came through on the right side.”
"Thankfully we were a couple of points a better team on the day" - Alan Hubbard
Trailing by six points in the second half, Dr Crokes won a penalty when Philly McMahon, who had just been booked, fouled Daithi Casey. Chris Brady then saw his penalty saved by Sean Currie.
Hubbard singled the goalkeeper out for praise: “I’m going to go in and give him a good slap now," he said.
"Thank God it was a great save because that could have put us under real pressure, it would have put two in between it and God knows what could have happened, but thankfully he saved it and it helped us drive on."
Ballymun will now play Roscommon's St Brigid's in the St Patrick's Day Croke Park final.
“It’s amazing, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. We came here to do a job and thankfully we were a couple of points a better team on the day but it’s great now, we can sit back and relax and look forward to the 17th of March,” he added.