Kilmacud boss Dowling: Double ask unfair on dual-player Sheehy

As things stand, the Crokes footballers are scheduled to play The Downs of Westmeath at 2.30pm on Sunday with the hurlers pencilled in for a 4.30pm start against Ballyhale Shamrocks.
Kilmacud boss Dowling: Double ask unfair on dual-player Sheehy

DOUBLE-JOBBING: Brian Sheehy of Kilmacud Crokes, right, with team-mate Caolan Conway. Pic: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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

Kilmacud Crokes manager Kieran Dowling has claimed it is unfair to ask dual player Brian Sheehy to play in two AIB Leinster club finals next Sunday, arguing that it wouldn't happen 'Loughmore-Castleiney or a Cork team'.

Powerhouse Dublin club Crokes have made it through to both provincial senior finals which are currently slated to take place as a double header at Croke Park.

It presents a problem for Sheehy as the defender, who lined out in their comfortable semi-final win over St Mullin's and scored a point, is also on the football panel and came on in the semi-final defeat of Portarlington, scoring a point in that game too.

As things stand, the Crokes footballers are scheduled to play The Downs of Westmeath at 2.30pm on Sunday with the hurlers pencilled in for a 4.30pm start against Ballyhale Shamrocks.

"It's unfortunate and in some ways I'm here wondering do we actually look for it to be moved or do we just go and have a historic day for the club and have two teams in a Leinster final?" said Dowling. "I think it's very unfair on Brian, on a human level.

"So he's going to have to do a warm up, sit down, get cold, come on and play the last 10 or 15 minutes (for the footballers), as he normally does, hopefully, and then come and warm up with us and go play a match. It doesn't strike me as right. It's not Des Foley in the sixties and the Railway Cup, it's 2022, and I don't think that's fair to Brian, personally."

Dowling said it is 'a conversation for the club to have with the Leinster Council' and appeared to harden his stance as he continued to consider the situation.

"Look, all I want is Brian to be able to perform at his best, that's all," said Dowling. "I don't think that's unfair. If it was Loughmore-Castleiney or a Cork team, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Dowling claimed that if Sheehy, a 2020 All-Ireland U-20 hurling finalist with the Dubs, is forced to play one game after another, he will be physically able for it.

"Of course he would, he's a beast. The lad is a beast, so he could do it, but it's not fair. It's very unfair."

Crokes slipped up at the semi-final stage last season against Clough Ballacolla but made no mistake this time around and had one foot in the final as early as the 23rd minute when they led by 1-11 to 0-3.

They sniped 1-7 without response in a seven-minute blitzkrieg, Ronan Hayes soloing through for an expert goal.

But they were perhaps fortunate to still have 15 players on the pitch at that stage.

Bill O'Carroll was only booked for a dangerous high challenge on St Mullin's forward Jason O'Neill in the 13th minute.

It resulted in a penalty for the Carlow champions but Marty Kavanagh pulled a weak shot wide at the Hill 16 End.

O'Carroll conceded a free following another heavy challenge minutes later though avoided any card on that occasion and was taken on shortly after.

Dowling acknowledged that he replaced the player to avoid him being sent off.

St Mullin's manager Maurice Aylward claimed it was a 'very high tackle, a dangerous tackle' that deserved red.

"The man that refereed the match, John Keenan, he is good," said Aylward. "He lets a lot of things go and fair play, I like him as a referee. But there are other referees who would have given two red cards there, definitely that one was a red card, it was a dangerous tackle."

Aylward also conceded that his team was 'second to every ball' and said Crokes 'looked at times like they had three or four extra men'.

In-form Oisin O'Rorke, chasing a return to the Dublin panel under new manager Micheal Donoghue, struck 0-11 overall and powered Crokes to a 1-13 to 0-6 half-time lead.

St Mullin's restarted with three points in a row from James Doyle, Conor Kehoe and Kavanagh.

But they could not kick on and four Crokes points, all from O'Rorke, went a long way towards sealing the deal.

Sheehy then split the posts from a tight angle out on the left wing.

The Crokes management took the opportunity to run in their full allocation of subs but still kept the pressure on - surging 14 points clear late on.

There was consolation for St Mullin's in stoppage time when Kehoe was set free by Paddy Boland and danced through the Crokes defence for a fine goal.

Kilmacud Crokes scorers: O O'Rorke (0-11, 5 frees, 2 65s); R Hayes (1-1); F Whitely, D Purcell (0-3); M Roche, B Scanlon (0-2); B Sheehy, C Conway (0-1).

St Mullin's scorers: C Kehoe (1-2); M Kavanagh (0-5, 4 frees); P Boland, J Doyle (0-2); J 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: C Ryan for O'Carroll (20); R O'Loughlin for Grogan (39); F O'Ceallaigh for Conway (46); R Smith for Butler (57); R Costello for O'Rorke (57).

St Mullin's: K Kehoe; G Bennett, P Doyle, J Doran; P O'Shea, M Walsh, G Coady; J Kavanagh, P Kehoe; C Kehoe, J Doyle, P Connors; J O'Neill, M Kavanagh, P Boland.

Subs: J Doyle for Bennett (24); E Doyle for Connors (46); O Ryan for O'Neill (46); C Connolly for O'Shea (60); P Walsh for M Kavanagh (61).

Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).

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