THE LEINSTER COUNCIL will be hoping that it will prove to be third time lucky on Sunday as Kilmacud Crokes and Rhode of Offaly meet.
Twice already the provincial SFC final has been postponed due to the inclement weather conditions before Christmas. But with conditions now much-improved the game is set to go ahead in Portlaoise as planed this weekend.
It has been a long and difficult season for Crokes, as long-term injuries to key players like Mark Davoren, Paul Griffin and Darren Magee have hampered them, but they have shown plenty resilience to reach this stage.
Against Westmeath’s Garrycastle in the semi-final, the Dublin champions were two points down at half-time but eventually prevailed by three.
Being able to call on attackers of the class of Brian Kavanagh and Mark Vaughan is a bonus for them, while Adrian Morrissey, who would have missed the game had it gone ahead when initially schedule due to suspension, is again available.
Niall McNamee is the go-to guy for Rhode, as he showed with a goal against Meath champions Skryne in the semi-final, while veteran sub Roy Malone crafted another green flag with a piece of pure genius.
Aidan Tuite and Paddy O’Rourke are important players in midfield for Rhode and will present a big challenge for Craig Dias and Paddy Duggan, but how well the Rhode defence does could be key.
The last time the two sides played competitively was at the same stage just over two years ago, when goals by Kavanagh and Davoren gave Crokes a 2-7 to 1-7 victory at Parnell Park as they claimed a third provincial title.
Video footage courtesy of Ballywire