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Haven and Crokes progress in Munster club SFC semi-finals

Once again it is the club champions in Cork and Kerry who will meet in this year’s provincial senior football final.

 Castlehaven's Seanie Cahalane celebrates scoring his side's goal along with teammate Mark Collins.
Castlehaven's Seanie Cahalane celebrates scoring his side's goal along with teammate Mark Collins.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

FOR THE THIRD successive year, the Cork and Kerry representatives are set to meet in the final of the AIB Munster club senior football championship.

After yesterday’s semi-final games, Cork champions Castlehaven will face Kerry kingpins Dr Crokes in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the 2012 decider that will be played on December 2nd.

It will be the first final in the competition to be played at the venue since 2006 when Dr Crokes tasted glory against Waterford outfit The Nire.

Dr Crokes are seeking to retain their title after beating UCC in last year’s final while Castlehaven are back in the final for the first time since 1997 when they got the better of Tipperary team Fethard.

Here’s how yesterday semi-final clashes unfolded.

Castlehaven (Cork) 1-5 Stradbally (Waterford) 0-7
A 49th minute goal by team captain Seanie Cahalane proved the crucial score in propelling Castlehaven to a narrow victory against Stradbally at the West Cork venue of Clonakilty.

Waterford champions Stradbally, who only lifted their county title the week before with a final replay win over The Nire, were huge underdogs entering the game but nearly sprung a major surprise. In a match marred by terrible weather conditions, Stradbally made all the early running to lead by 0-6 to 0-1 at the interval.

Shane Ahearne was to the fore on the scoreboard as Stradbally were in an advantageous position as they sought to reach the club’s third final after previous appearances in 1980 and 2004.

Yet Castlehaven managed to trim the margin to 0-6 to 0-3 during the second-half with points from Shane Nolan and Brian Hurley before Cahalane pounced for the goal after Stradbally goalkeeper Oliver Costello had lost possession.

Castlehaven built on the momentum generated from that strike with Damien Cahalane and Mark Collins adding insurance points and despite Niall Curran hitting Stradbally’s only point of the second-half in injury-time, the Cork side were relieved to hold on for victory.

They will hope to maintain their perfect record in Munster club senior football finals having triumphed in 1989 against St Senan’s (Kilkee), in 1994 against Clonmel Commercials and in 1997 against Fethard.

Stradbally’s Eddie Rockett and Mark Collins of Castlehaven. Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Dr Crokes (Kerry) 1-14 Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) 0-6
Dr Crokes cruised into their third successive Munster senior club football final by getting the better of Clonmel Commercials by 11 points at their own club grounds on the Lewis Road yesterday.

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After surviving a huge scare in the last round against Clare’s Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Dr Crokes did not receive as stern an examination of their credentials here. The winners were grateful to the excellence of Colm Cooper who shot 0-8 and Chris Brady who grabbed 0-3 while Eoin Brosnan’s 52nd minute goal sealed their victory.

It was always going to be a difficult challenge for a youthful Clonmel Commericals team, who were recently crowned Tipperary senior champions for the first time since 2002, having to travel to Killarney.

Their cause was hampered further by the loss of 2011 Tipperary All-Ireland minor winners Colman Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan due to soccer commitments and injury respectively.

Dr Crokes were ahead by 0-10 to 0-2 at the break and even though Clonmel Commercials cut the deficit to 0-12 to 0-6 by the 46th minute, they failed to score again for the remainder of the match.

Brosnan raised the only green flag of the game with eight minutes remaining and Clonmel’s woes were compounded when attacker Ian Barnes was sent-off in the finale.

Dr Crokes Colm Cooper with Fergal Condon of Clonmel Comercials. Pic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

2012 Munster Club SFC team-by-team guide

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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