Kilmacud Crokes 1-07 St Jude's 1-06
A Callum Pearson point, deep into injury-time, proved pivotal as Kilmacud Crokes claimed their ninth Dublin Senior Football Championship title when edging St Jude’s by the bare minimum at Parnell Park.
In doing so, the Stillorgan outfit completed a football and hurling double and, in keeping with their small-ball counterparts, they were pushed all the way before prevailing by the final whistle.
They trailed by five points during the third quarter, a massive deficit given the lack of scores throughout, but a goal from substitute Cian O’Connor helped turn the tide in their favour, with another substitute Pearson making a similar impression as he turned smartly and made light of the acute angle to settle the issue.
The first-half was a depressingly defensive affair with both teams focusing their energies on denying their opponents rather than anything mildly more creative and the first wide of the game arriving as late as the 10th minute.
By that point, Kilmacud had spurned a glorious goal opportunity as Shane Cunningham released Dara Mullin through on goal in the second minute but Paul Copeland reacted smartly to block the effort to safety.
That miss gained greater significance given the paucity of scores or attempts at goal, with St Jude's enjoying a greater degree of possession as they played against the stiff breeze blowing towards the church end.
The water break arrived in the 20th minute with neither team on the scoreboard but from the restart, St Jude’s almost took the lead as Colm Murphy blazed wide following a poor clearance by Conor Ferris.
Their fortune was to change within three minutes however as Kevin McManamon embarked on a trademark slaloming run and his well-timed pass was clinically despatched to the net from eight yards by Alan Connolly.
Kilmacud finally opened their own account through Paul Mannion in the 25th minute but they continued to play second fiddle to their more composed opponents, who entered the interval 1-01 to 0-01 to the good thanks to Dara Kavanagh’s injury-time score.
The second-half was an improvement in all aspects as Jude’s looked to build an unassailable lead and they enjoyed a bright resumption through points by David Mannix and Connolly.
Crokes replied through a free from goalkeeper Ferris but St Jude’s still looked the stronger outfit as another Mannix score pushed them 1-04 to 0-03 ahead by the second water break.
It was at this stage that Kilmacud began to monopolise possession with Andy McGowan particularly prominent and a brace of Mannion points halved their deficit by the 50th minute.
O’Connor’s wonderful goal inside Copeland’s right-hand upright edged Crokes ahead for the first time in the 51st minute but a Mannix free three minutes later and a Brian Coakley '45’ saw St Jude’s regain their lead by the 57th minute.
However, they failed to withstand the incessant Kilmacud pressure as Aidan Jones levelled matters in the 62nd minute and with extra-time looming, Pearson found sufficient space and accuracy to complete a superb comeback from Robbie Brennan’s side.
Kilmacud Crokes: C Ferris (0-01, 1f); M Mullin, A McGowan, R McGowan; R O'Carroll, C O’Shea, D O’Brien; B Shovlin, C Dias; T Fox, D Mullin, S Horan; P Mannion (0-04, 2f), S Cunningham, H Kenny.
Subs Used: C O’Connor (1-00) for Fox (43), C Casey for Shovlin (46), C Pearson (0-01) for Kenny (50), A Jones (0-01) for O’Carroll (53).
St Jude’s: P Copeland; O Manning, J McGuire, A Hassett; T Lahiff, M Sweeney, C Guckian; C Murphy, P Spillane; D Sheehy, K McManamon, D Kavanagh (0-01); N Coakley, D Mannix (0-03, 1f) A Connolly (1-01).
Subs Used: D McLoughlin for Kavanagh (37), R Joyce for Sheehy (51), R Martina for Manning (53), B Coakley (0-01, 1 '45’) for N Coakley (53), S Ryan for Murphy (60).
Referee: Dave Feeney (Parnell’s)