Close call for Dr Crokes, but they retain Kerry title in South Kerry clash


By John Fogarty

All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes were made to sweat out the retention of their Kerry title as South Kerry were left to rue a series of late wides in Austin Stack Park.

Fionn Fitzgerald of Dr. Crokes in action against Niall O'Shea of South Kerry. Picture: Sportsfile

The excellent Bryan Sheehan had levelled the sides in the 50th minute just two minutes after Johnny Buckley was sent off having added a black card for a pull-down on Brendan O’Sullivan having early been booked along with the Valentia man.

Crokes punished South Kerry’s inaccuracy with three scores in a row, the pick of them Jordan Kiely’s after a lovely threaded-through ground pass from Kieran O’Leary. The former Kerry forward then added another to push the Killarney men three ahead.

However, the next couple of scores were South Kerry’s, substitute Ronan Hussey angling over a shot and then Sheehan penalising a black card foul by Michael Moloney to cut the difference to the minimum once more. But it was Kieran O’Leary who helped seal Crokes their 12th county title with a long-range strike in additional time.

A slick South Kerry move in the opening minute almost gave them the perfect start. Paul O’Donoghue disguised a shot, passing into Brendan O’Sullivan whose shot had Shane Murphy at full stretch. Bryan Sheehan followed that up with a 45 but Dr Crokes weren’t long in getting into gear, picking up three points on the bounce, O’Leary adding the first couple.

Sheehan, this time from play, managed a point prior to Daithí Casey sending over his first point. Tony Brosnan then had a goal-bound shot deflected over the bar and while Brendan O’Sullivan cancelled it out at the other end another deflected point came Crokes’ way when Pádraig O’Sullivan made a fine save from Casey.

Gavin White meandered up the field to push Crokes into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead by the 17th minute before South Kerry hit them with a sucker punch of a goal. Brendan O’Sullivan’s shot attempt looked to have been negotiated but substitute Ian Galvin intercepted Michael Moloney and sent the ball past Murphy.

Crokes’ first shot miss came via Murphy from a long-range free a minute later but they were soon on the score-sheet again thanks to Burns and while South Kerry twice cut the margin to one Brosnan and Casey expertly found their range to help ensure they lead by a deserved margin, 0-11 to 1-6, at the interval.

Scores for Dr Crokes:D. Casey (0-6, 2 frees); M. Burns (0-4); K. O’Leary (0-3); T. Brosnan (0-2); G. White, J. Kiely (0-1 each).

Scores for South Kerry: B. Sheehan (0-7, 3 frees, 1 45); I. Galvin (1-0); P. O’Donoghue (0-2); B. O’Sullivan, C. O’Shea, R. Hussey (0-1 each).

DR CROKES: S. Murphy; J. Payne, M. Moloney, L. Quinn; D. O’Leary, F. Fitzgerald, G. White; J. Buckley, A. O’Sullivan; M. Burns, G. O’Shea, B. Looney; T. Brosnan, D. Casey (c), K. O’Leary.

Subs for Dr Crokes: J. Kiely for T. Brosnan, C. Cooper for G. O’Shea (both 43); S. Doolan for D. O’Leary (53); A. O’Donovan for M. Moloney (black, 60+2); E. Brosnan for B. Looney (60+4).

Sent off: J. Buckley (48, yellow and black).

SOUTH KERRY: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers); B. Sugrue (Renard), M. Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore), F. Clifford (Waterville); G. O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses); Paul O’Sullivan (Valentia Young Islanders), C. O’Shea (St Marys); B. Sheehan (do), B. O’Sullivan (Valentia Young Islanders); P. O’Donoghue (St Marys), N. O’Shea (Dromid Pearses), J. Curran (Valentia Young Islanders); R. Wharton (Renard), M. O’Sullivan (St Michaels/Foilmore), Daniel Daly (St Marys).

Subs for South Kerry: I. Galvin (Sneem/Derrynane) for D. Daly (inj 13); Denis Daly (St Marys) for N. O’Shea (34); O. Clifford (Waterville) for J. Curran (37); R. Hussey (Sneem/Derrynane) for M. O’Sullivan (46); C. Farley (Dromid Pearses) for I. Galvin (60+1).

Referee: B. Griffin (Clounmacon).



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