Kilmacud Crokes 4-26 Na Fianna 2-25 AET
Ronan Hayes fired Kilmacud Crokes to a sensational comeback victory in the Dublin senior hurling final.
Trailing by nine points with 10 minutes remaining, Crokes outscored Na Fianna by 3-1 to 0-1 to force extra time, with Hayes netting the equalising goal deep in injury time.
And, with Na Fianna psychologically spent in extra time, Hayes swept over a further six points in the additional 20 minutes to bring his personal tally for the evening to a mammoth 1-14 and complete a 16-point turnaround.
It’s a sixth title for Crokes and first since 2014 but this one will rankle on the Mobhi Road for quite some time as Na Fianna were in the driving seat for the vast majority of normal time and looked set for a first ever senior hurling crown from a long way out.
Na Fianna settled quickly with two early points but Kilmacud hit them for 1-2 to move in front by the ninth minute.
Hayes won a delivery and offloaded to Alex Considine for the goal, which Na Fianna ‘keeper Jonathan Tracey got a stick to but couldn’t keep out.
But that purple patch was as close to a period of dominance as they enjoyed in the first half as Na Fianna took over, with Crokes struggling to keep in touch.
Na Fianna were back within a point when Bill O’Carroll collected a short puckout but saw his pass intercepted by Donal Burke, who set Colin Currie away. He was dragged down by Brian Sheehy and Burke rattled the resultant penalty past Eddie Gibbons.
The northsiders, employing a seventh defender in Feargal Breathnach, resulting in Crokes leaving O’Carroll free in the defence, dictated the terms of engagement and with Sean Currie on fire up front, shooting 0-6 from play in the first half, they steadily built their advantage in a high-scoring first half.
They led by 1-15 to 1-11 at half-time having closed the half with five of the last six points, three of them from Burke, and Crokes struggled to make significant inroads in the third quarter.
They pared it back to three points briefly but Currie’s eighth of the day put Na Fianna six clear for the first time going to the second water break and when Burke stroked home his second goal shortly after the resumption there appeared to be little doubt about the outcome.
But Fergal Whitely immediately responded with a goal for Crokes though their comeback appeared to have stalled when Hayes ballooned a penalty wide after Kevin Burke had taken sub Shane Veale down in the area.
Oisin O’Rorke netted brilliantly from a tight angle after a probing run from Davy Crowe, however, to reduce the deficit to three with two minutes of normal time remaining and Considine missed an opportunity to draw the sides level when Tracey saved his shot before he pulled the rebound into the side-netting.
There was still time for Hayes to salvage it however. He finished superbly off his left in the fifth minute of injury time after Padhraic Linehan’s surge upfield to tie the game at 4-18 to 2-24.
The momentum stayed with Kilmacud as Na Fianna could only muster a single point in extra time as the southsiders streaked clear for a famous win.
KILMACUD CROKES: Eddie Gibbons; Davy Crowe (0-1), Brian Sheehy; Bill O’Carroll; Padhraic Linehan, Mark Grogan, Cian MacGabhann; Lorcan McMullan (0-2), Dillon Mulligan; Caolan Conway (0-3), Feargal Whitely (1-1), Dara Purcell (0-1); Oisin O’Rorke (1-3), Ronan Hayes (1-14, 0-8f, 0-1 ‘65’), Alex Considine (1-1).
Subs: Marc Howard for Purcell (41), Shane Veale for Conway (47), Cian O Cathasaigh for MacGabhann (52), Jamie Clinton for O’Carroll (60), Purcell for Whitely (70), James Dillon for Considine (75).
NA FIANNA: Jonathan Tracey; Sean Burke, Kevin Burke (0-1), Sean Baxter; Feargal Breathnach; Donal Ryan, Liam Rushe (0-1), Pa