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Mullinalaghta dream dies in Thurles as 14-man Dr Crokes book All-Ireland final spot

The Kerry champions prevailed despite a red card for Johnny Buckley on Saturday.

Dr. Crokes goalkeeper Shane Murphy celebrates winning a free.
Dr. Crokes goalkeeper Shane Murphy celebrates winning a free.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dr Crokes (Kerry) 0-18,

Mullinalaghta (Longford) 2-7

Conor Kane Reports from Thurles

A TYPICALLY PROLIFIC attacking display by Dr Crokes brought the Mullinalaghta dream to an end at Semple Stadium and put the Kerry champions into another All-Ireland club final on St Patrick’s Day.

Tony Brosnan with six points and Kieran O’Leary with four led the way for Crokes while Gavin White put in a roving display from centre-back and was named man of the match at the end.

But Mullinalaghta made it more difficult for Dr Crokes than most other opponents this season and came into the game with their tails up.

Donal McEligott and Micheal Burns Mullinalaghta's Donal McEligott and Micheal Burns of Dr. Crokes. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

They started well and registered their first goal when Gary Rogers calmly dispatched a penalty after Dónal McElligott was taken down.

The Kerry champions hit their stride shortly afterwards, Tony Brosnan settling the nerves with some nicely taken scores, but were hit by a double blow as the match moved into its second quarter.

Jayson Matthews fisted the ball to the net after an initial James McGivney effort was well blocked by Shane Murphy.

Then, from the kick-out, Dr Crokes were cut to 14 men when Johnny Buckley was red-carded for an illegal challenge.

But Crokes hit five in a row in the subsequent minutes to move into the lead, Brosnan the conductor of that attacking orchestra which has been racking up big scores in most games this season, and at half-time it was 0-11 to 2-3 in favour of the 2017 winners.

Shane Doolan celebrates with his nephew Alex Doolan Shane Doolan celebrates with his nephew Alex Doolan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

They got five more in a row after the break and looked to be cruising to Croke Park on March 17th but the Longford side stuck at it and three points towards the end of the third quarter brought them back to within four as they made the extra man count.

Another goal would have made things very interesting and they almost had one too in the 45th minute, Aidan McElligott getting to a high ball and fisting towards the corner but Shane Murphy was equal to it and deflected it out of play, allowing Crokes to play out the final minutes with some degree of comfort.

Scorers for Dr Crokes: Tony Brosnan 0-6 (4 frees), Kieran O’Leary 0-4, David Shaw 0-3, Daithí Casey 0-2 (1 free), Micheál Burns 0-1, Gavin O’Shea 0-1, Brian Looney 0-1.

Scorers for Mullinalaghta: David McGivney 0-5 (4 frees), Gary Rogers 1-0 (penalty), Jayson Matthews 1-0), Brendan Fox 0-1.

Dr Crokes

1. Shane Murphy

2. John Paye
3. Michael Moloney
4. Fionn Fitzgerald

5. David O’Leary
6. Gavin White
7. Shane Doolan

8. Johnny Buckley
9. Daithí Casey

10. Micheál Burns
11. Gavin O’Shea
12. Brian Looney

15. Tony Brosnan
14. Kieran O’Leary
18. David Shaw

Substitutes:

19. Micheál Potts for S Doolan (34m)
17. Alan O’Sullivan for D O’Leary (49m)
13. Colm Cooper for G O’Shea (50m)
22. Eoin Brosnan for M Burns (57m)
20. Jordan Kiely for T Brosnan (60m)

Mullinalaghta

1. Patrick Rogers

2. Simon Cadam
3. Patrick Fox
4. Conan Brady

7. Dónal McElligott
6. Shane Mulligan
8. David McGivney

5. Francis Mulligan
15. Aidan McElligott

9. John Keegan
10. Gary Rogers
11. James McGivney

12. Brendan Fox
14. Rian Brady
13. Jayson Matthews

Substitutes:

18. Michael Cunningham for F Mulligan (27m)
19. Conor McElligott for B Fox (57m)

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

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About the author:

Conor Kane

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