Mannion the man as Kilmacud Crokes see off Wolfe Tones to advance

December 05, 2021

Kilmacud Crokes' Paul Mannion with Conor Sheppard of Wolfe Tones ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

Paul Mannion's display was central to Kilmacud Crokes win over 14-man Wolfe Tones as the Dublin champions advanced to the last four of the Leinster Club SFC with a hard-earned 1-13 to 1-9 win at Pairc Tailteann this afternoon.  

The former Dublin star scored six points and was central to others as Crokes saw off the challenge of the Meath champions.

The team managed by Robbie Brennan - whose father played for Wolfe Tones in their formative years in the mid-seventies - led for most of the way but were just three ahead when the game's biggest talking point occurred in the 49th minute.

Wolfe Tones lost their most experienced player, and playmaker, Cian Ward, to a second yellow card. Seasoned observers didn't complain about the second sanction but were bewildered by the initial one.

On a bright sunny afternoon, both sides were guilty of spurning scoring chances. In stoppage time 'Tones sub Tom Gavigan saw his goal attempt sky over the bar.

Playing 'keep ball' can be hazardous but it worked well for the Dublin champions who with numerical advantage controlled matters.

They picked off some eye-catching scores and might have got in for a goal but 'Tones 'keeper Cian Farnan blocked sub Callum Pearson's 54th minute effort.

By the end, Crokes had eight different scorers. Within nine minutes of the restart, they moved five points clear.

A timely intervention by full-back Adam O'Neill prevented Crokes - in their near all-white strip - getting another goal.

Frees from Saran O Fionnagain and Cian Ward left it 1-6 to 1-9 before the latter's departure.

Wolfe Tones gave the home crowd something to cheer about with the opening score - a Padraic Diamond point - in the second minute.

Crokes had whatever advantage the breeze offered in the first-half and they may feel they should have done better with it.

They moved 1-3 to 0-1 clear by the 14th minute after midfielder Ben Shovlin netted into the town goal in the 14th minute.

The Dublin champions led by 1-3 to 0-1 at the first water break. Shortly after the restart the 'Tones were boosted when Cian O'Neill flicked Cian Ward's pass to the net to round off a fine move.

Wolfe Tones restored parity with points from Cian Ward (free) and Diamond's second of the half.

Robbie Brennan's men closed out the half with two pointed frees - one from Tom Fox and the other from Paul Mannion to lead by 1-5 to 1-3 at half-tme.

Scorers: Kilmacud Crokes - Paul Mannion 0-6 (1f); Ben Shovlin 1-0; Tom Fox (2fs) 0-2; Conor Ferris, Dan O'Brien, Craig Dias, Dara Mullin, Shane Cunningham 0-1 each.

Wolfe Tones - Cian O'Neill 1-0; Cian Ward 0-3 (3fs); Thomas O'Reilly (fs), Padraic Diamond 0-2 each; Saran O Fionnagain (f), Tom Gavagan 0-1 each.  

Kilmacud Crokes - Conor Ferris; Micheal Mullin, Cian O'Connor, Andrew McGowan; Dan O'Brien, Rory O'Carroll, Cillian O'Shea; Craig Dias, Ben Shovlin; Tom Fox, Paul Mannion, Shane Horan; Hugh Kenny, Shane Cunningham (c), Dara Mullin. Subs - Ross McGowan for Andrew McGowan (2), Aidan Jones for Horan (42), Callum Pearson for Kenny (45), Conor Casey for Dias (48), Conor Kinsella for Fox (55).

Wolfe Tones - Cian Farnan; Brughach O Fionnagain, Adam O'Neill, Conor Sheppard; Niall O'Reilly, Shane Glynn (c), Daniel O'Neill; Padraic Diamond, Alan Callaghan; Stephen Sheppard, Cian Ward, Thomas O'Reilly; Oisin Martin, Cian O'Neill, Saran O Fionnagain. Subs - Fiachra Ward for Callaghan (48), Caolan Ward for O'Neill (50), Tom Gavigan for Martin (56), Eanna O'Kelly-Lynch for N O'Reilly (58).

Referee - Patrick Maguire (Longford)

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