Dilemma for dual player Sheehy after Kilmacud advance to Leinster final

With both Leinster club finals slated for a double header at Croke Park next Sunday, it leaves Sheehy, the solitary Crokes dual player, in an awkward position
Dilemma for dual player Sheehy after Kilmacud advance to Leinster final

ON THE BURST: Ronan Hayes of Kilmacud Crokes is tackled by Paidi O’Shea of St Mullin’s during the AIB Leinster GAA hurling senior club championship semi-fFinal match against Naomh Moling at Croke Park in Dublin. Pic: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

AIB Leinster club senior hurling championship semi-final

Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin) 1-24 St Mullin's (Carlow) 1-12 

Dual player Brian Sheehy faces a rare dilemma next weekend after helping both Kilmacud Crokes senior teams to provincial finals.

A week after coming off the bench for the footballers in their semi-final win and scoring a point, Sheehy this time started and added another point as the hurlers also progressed to their provincial showpiece.

With both finals slated for a double header at Croke Park next Sunday, it leaves Sheehy, the solitary Crokes dual player, in an awkward position.

It is a good news story overall though for the Stillorgan club with Oisin O'Rorke maintaining his fine form and sniping 0-11 to send the hurlers through to their first ever final.

Beaten in last season's semi-final, Kieran Dowling's side made it back to the province's last four and came good this time with a comfortable win to book their place in next Sunday's decider alongside Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Crokes will inevitably be underdogs for that fixture but they will return with momentum on their side after streaking past the Carlow representatives.

Goalscorer Ronan Hayes, Fergal Whitely and Micheal Roche all impressed too for the Glenalbyn outfit.

St Mullin's were looking for a fast start as they sought to pull off a win similar to their 2019 success against then Dublin title holders Cuala.

St Mullin's went on to contest the provincial final with Ballyhale Shamrocks on that occasion and knew in advance of facing Crokes this time that the Kilkenny side had once again made it through to the decider.

Any hopes of a St Mullin's/Ballyhale provincial final rematch were quickly wiped out though as Crokes opened up at a thunderous pace and immediately put significant daylight between the teams.

Crokes moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead thanks in part to back-to-back points from O'Rorke and a further burst of 1-7 without response between the 16th and 23rd minutes went a long way to deciding this tie.

Roche got that blitz of scoring underway and the back-to-back Dublin champions reeled off five points in a row before Hayes struck his 21st minute goal after a clever solo run through the middle.

Hayes could have taken a handy point but, sensing St Mullin's were vulnerable, went for the jugular and burst beyond centre-back Michael Walsh before volleying to the net.

O'Rorke added a point after another turnover in the St Mullin's defence and with 23 minutes on the clock, Crokes now led by 1-11 to 0-3.

Crokes hit the interval with a commanding 1-13 to 0-06 lead and a horror half of hurling for St Mullin's was perhaps summed up by star attacker Marty Kavanagh's poor goal attempt from a 13th minute penalty - following Bill O'Carroll's high tackle on Jason O'Neill - which flew tamely wide of Eddie Gibbons' upright.

St Mullin's did convert three points after the restart to hint at a potential revival, James Doyle, Conor Kehoe and Marty Kavanagh all splitting the posts.

But four Crokes points in response, all scored by the excellent O'Rorke, went a long way towards shutting the door on the underdogs.

Sheehy surged forward and pinched an excellent score from the left wing in the 49th minute.

By that stage, Crokes manager Kieran Dowling was starting to ring the changes and there was a sense of inevitability about the result as Kilmacud went through the motions in the closing minutes, stretching the gap to 14 points at one stage.

St Mullin's, who beat Ferns of Wexford in the quarter-finals, did at least finish on a high with a well taken 62nd minute goal from Kehoe who danced through the Crokes defence after being set clear by Paddy Boland.

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Oisin O'Rorke 0-11 (0-5f, 0-2 65), Fergal Whitely 0-3, Ronan Hayes 1-1, Dara Purcell 0-3, Micheal Roche 0-2, Brendan Scanlon 0-2, Brian Sheehy 0-1, Caolan Conway 0-1.

Scorers for St Mullin's: Conor Kehoe 1-2, Marty Kavanagh 0-5 (0-4f), Paddy Boland 0-2, James Doyle 0-2, Jack Kavanagh 0-1.

Kilmacud Crokes: E Gibbons; B Sheehy, D Butler, B O'Carroll; C MacGabhann, C O Cathasaigh, M Grogan; B Hayes, D Purcell; F Whitely, R Hayes, C Conway; O O'Rorke, B Scanlon, M Roche.

Subs: Cian Ryan for O'Carroll 20, Robert O'Loughlin for Grogan 39, Fionn O Ceallaigh for Conway 46, Rory Smith for Butler 57, Ronan Costello for O'Rorke 57.

St Mullin's: Kevin Kehoe; Gary Bennett, Paul Doyle, John Doran; Paidi O'Shea, Michael Walsh, Ger Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Paudie Kehoe; Conor Kehoe, James Doyle, Phillip Connors; Jason O'Neill, Marty Kavanagh, Paddy Boland.

Subs: John Doyle for Bennett 24, Eddie Doyle for Connors 46, Oisin Ryan for O'Neill 46, Cathal Connolly for O'Shea 60, Paddy Walsh for Marty Kavanagh 61.

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).

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