Leinster club SFC final: Crokes comeback stuns Rhode
December 08, 2008
Kilmacud Crokes recovered from a six-point half-time deficit to overcome Rhode and claim their third Leinster club football title in sensational fashion at Parnell Park.
Underdogs Rhode were in total control in the first half, and played 46 minutes of the game with an extra man, but fell apart when the battle-hardened Dublin champions put it up to them in the second half. Boosted by Niall McNamee's early goal, Rhode were 1-3 to 0-1 in front when Cian O'Sullivan, just back in the Crokes team after serving a four-week suspension, received a straight red card from referee Pat Fox for a high tackle on Paraic Sullivan.
Rhode went on to lead 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time, but the concession of two soft goals in the second half, when they failed to deal with high deliveries, cost them dearly as the Dublin champions came back from the dead to win by three.
Rhode ripped into their much-vaunted opponents from the off and they were flying high after 10 minutes when Niall McNamee cut in from the left and showed Paul Griffin a clear pair of heels before blasting to the net.
Crokes had to wait until the 14th minute for Mark Vaughan to open their account from a free but almost immediately they were reduced to 14 players following O'Sullivan's dismissal. With McNamee and Brian Darby in fine scoring form, Rhode extended their lead to six by half-time, but five minutes after the restart, the Stillorgan men were back in it when Brian Kavanagh dropped a ball into the square and Mark Davoren was on hand to flick to the net.
A second goal followed in the 17th minute when indecisiveness by Rhode goalkeeper Colm Masterson, who admittedly was put under pressure by Davoren, allowed another high delivery by Kavanagh bounce into the roof of the net.
That left Rhode trailing by two points, but they squandered several chances thereafter and it left to Mark Vaughan to apply the coup de grace from a 45-metre free in the final minute.
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