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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO
# Aussies on the road
AFL champions flock to Kerry as Dingle cruise past Crokes to secure semi-final spot
Geelong’s Mark O’Connor played the entire game as Dingle secured a ten-point victory.

Dr Crokes 0-11

Dingle 1-18

Maurice Brosnan reports from Austin Stack Park 

MARK BLICAVS, ZACH Guthrie and a host of towering Geelong AFL Premiership winners shuffled into the stand minutes before the county championship quarter-final kicked off to the unmistakable soundtrack of clinking cans.

Their team-mate Mark O’Connor finally had the chance to represent Dingle after three years of frustration and they were only delighted to be here for him.

‘Up the Cats. Welcome to Kerry,’ bellowed a local with an Italia 90 cap. A bag of Bulmers held aloft in response. They were here to be entertained. 

mark-oconnor Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Dingle started brightly. A Mark Cooper goal-line save denied Paul Geaney the perfect start as his shot was pushed over. There were injury doubts around his involvement today but a minute later he burst away from Mark Cooper to receive a kick pass in front and tap over. 

Crokes set out to spoil the party. They were without vital figures like Gavin White, Fionn Fitzgerald, and Micheál Burns but the outstanding David Shaw and Michael Potts drove from deep to draw level.

After finding his feet around the middle, O’Connor demonstrated his pedigree midway through the first half, storming up the left wing before cutting in on his right to stroke over. The Aussies were off their feet and hollering. Before the break, a pinpoint kick pass allowed Kerry star Tom O’Sullivan to mark and score. Their midfielder was at home. 

From deep, Dingle possess huge power. Corner-back Conor Flannery drove forward to kick a score and combined well with O’Sullivan for another minutes later. As the rain started to come down, they stretched three in front through a Dylan Geaney mark.

‘What about Mark’s goal?’ The elated Geelong crew asked their neighbours at half-time to outraged cries of, ‘huh!’ 

Not quite down with the terminology yet, then. 

Geaney started to come to the fore in the second half. another long O’Connor ball was caught and fist over.

Liam O’Connor doubled down on the direct ball and again it was well-collected by the two-time All-Star who unselfishly squared for a Dylan Geaney goal.

Paul Geaney continued to combine well with a half-forward and midfield who always played with their head up. Man of the match contender Michael Geaney’s left-footed kick pass had him bearing down on goal with 15 minutes remaining but he played it safe to make it a seven-point margin. 

A couple of Tony Brosnan frees and a Tom Doyle point was all the Killarney outfit could muster in response. 

Mark O’Connor showed in flashes what he is capable of with the round ball, racing down the wing before popping inside for another Geaney score. At that stage, patrons were streaming out of the stand. 

Flannery, Dylan Geaney and O’Sullivan added some gloss to the final scoreboard. All-Ireland minor winner Deividas Uosis, who spent the past two years in the AFL with Brisbane Lions, came on for some welcomed minutes.

Up high, the Cats were content. Meanwhile, Dingle are one step away from a grand final of their own. 

Scorers for Dr Crokes: David Shaw 0-2, Michael Potts 0-1, Mark O’Shea 0-1, Cillian O’Regan 0-1, Tony Brosnan 0-4 (0-4f), Tom Doyle 0-1, Mark Fitzgerald 0-1

Scorers for Dingle:  Paul Geaney 0-5, Matthew Flaherty 0-1, Mark O’Connor 0-1, Conor Flannery 0-2, Tom O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-1m), Dylan Geaney 1-2 (0-1m) Barry O’Sullivan 0-2, Matthew Flaherty 0-1  

Dr Crokes 

1. Shane Murphy

2. John Payne 3. Neil O’Shea 4. Michael Potts

5. Mark Fitzgerald 6. Mark Cooper 7. Evan Looney 

8. Mark O’Shea (captain) 9. David Shaw 

10. Cillian O’Regan 18. Kieran O’Leary 12. Brian Looney

13. Tony Brosnan 14. Tom Doyle 15. Cian McMahon 

Subs

11. Daithi Casey for O’Leary (35)

22 David Daughton for O Shea (50) 

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28. Chris Dancel for Potts (53)

21. Cillian Fitzgerald for (56)

17. Liam Randles for O’Regan (59) 

Dingle 

1. Gavin H Curran

2. Conor Flannery 3. Conor O’Sullivan 4. Padraig O’Connor 

5. Niall Geaney 6. Tom O’Sullivan 17. Ruadhan McCarthy 

8. Barry O’Sullivan 9. Liam O’Connor

10 Seoirse Durrant 11. Mark O’Connor 12. Michael Geaney (captain) 

13. Dylan Geaney 14. Paul Geaney 15. Matthew Flaherty 

Subs

24. Tom Leo O’Sullivan for O’Sullivan (42) 

7. Michael Flannery for McCarthy (53) 

19. Deividas Uosis for Geaney (56) 

18. Darragh O’Sullivan for O’Connor (56) 

21. Tadhg Browne for O’Sullivan (59) 

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