Mannion guides Crokes to glory
Dublin SFC Final
KILMACUD CROKES 2-12 ST JUDE'S 0-13
By Paul Keane at Parnell Park
Paul Mannion fired a brilliant 1-6 at Parnell Park, including the clinching goal late on, as Kilmacud Crokes returned to the summit of the Dublin SFC.
The 2009 All-Ireland winners led from start to finish to claim an eighth crown and set up a Leinster club championship clash with Meath's Dunboyne on November 11.
They had Mannion to thank for the memorable win with the All-Star forward leading the line superbly and hitting all of his scores from play.
Jude's briefly got the margin down to a single point in the third quarter and were still just two back late on but Mannion's 57th minute goal sealed it.
Wing-back Cian O'Connor was terrific for Crokes too who claimed their first title since 2010 and denied Jude's a maiden success.
Jude's waited eight years to return to the final after their one previous appearance in 2009 yet took a long time to get going.
They were held to three points in the first-half with only one of those coming from play as ex-Cork forward Niall Coakley tapped over two frees.
Crokes, in turn, weren't at their free flowing best but largely bossed the exchanges and deservedly led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time.
Mannion, who scored all of his tally from open play, lived up to his mantle as their marquee attacker with four points from play in the opening half.
The All-Star nominee kicked four first-half points with all of them coming off his left foot.
Jude's placed former Kildare defender Ciaran Fitzpatrick on Mannion but he struggled to cope with the Dubliner's powerful running and slick movement.
Former Dublin player Craig Dias was also on the mark for Crokes along with Shane Cunningham.
Defender O'Connor closed out the first-half scoring with a beauty from the right wing as the Glenalbyn side put themselves in a winning position.
Jude's were brighter after the restart and a neat McManamon point just seconds into the second-half inspired his colleagues.
They reduced their arrears to a single point by the 39th minute, 0-8 to 0-7, and carried vital momentum, but Crokes drew on all their big game experience.
They responded with a 1-1 blast which ultimately won them the contest.
Mannion scored the point and the experienced Pat Burke blasted the goal in off the underside of the crossbar from the right to put Crokes 1-9 to 0-7 clear.
Jude's refused to throw in the towel and battled gamely but Mannion's goal after escaping Fitzpatrick down the right and sliding the ball low to the net sealed it.
The win brought some much needed cheer to the club after Sunday's county hurling final replay defeat.
Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: Paul Mannion 1-6, Pat Burke 1-0, Craig Dias 0-2, Cian O'Connor 0-2 (1 45), Shane Cunningham 0-1, Callum Pearson 0-1.
Scorers for St Jude's: Niall Coakley 0-4 (4fs), Padraic Clarke 0-3 (1f), Kevin McManamon 0-2, Tom Lahiff 0-1, Chris Guckian 0-1, Tom Devlin 0-1, Seamus Ryan 0-1.
KILMACUD CROKES: David Nestor; Liam Flatman, Ross McGowan, Andrew McGowan; Cian O'Connor, Cillian O'Shea, Cian O'Sullivan; Craig Dias, Conor Casey; Shane Horan, Shane Cunningham, Callum Pearson; Dara Mullin, Paul Mannion, Pat Burke.
Subs: Kevin Dyas for Horan (50) Tom Fox for Mullin (58), Stephen Williams for Burke (60).
ST JUDE'S: Liam Mailey; Oisin Manning, Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Cillian O'Reilly; Tom Lahiff, Niall O'Shea, Chris Guckian; Mark Sweeney, Seamus Ryan; Kieran Doherty, Simon King, Ronan Joyce; Niall Coakley, Kevin McManamon, Padraic Clarke.
Subs: Neal Mangan for Joyce (37) Tom Devlin for King (46) Brendan McManamon for Doherty (50) Andy Sweeney for O'Reilly (60)
REFEREE: Sean McCarthy (St Vincent's).