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Dr Crokes hold off South Kerry after semi-final replay to keep four-in-a-row bid on course

The final against East Kerry takes place next Sunday.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Dr Crokes 1-14
South Kerry 1-8

Paul Brennan reports from Fitzgerald Stadium

DR CROKES’ COUNTY title defence and bid for a second four-in-a-row this decade remains on course after the reigning champions got the job done at the second time of asking.

They saw off South Kerry in this replay to set up a county final meeting with East Kerry next Sunday.

Seven days on from a gripping extra-time draw, the champions – even without the injured David Shaw – were the more composed and purposeful team for most of this replay.

Indeed, South Kerry’s inability to take up from where they left off the previous Sunday was best summed up by the performance of Bryan Sheehan, their talismanic midfielder.

The St Marys man kicked seven points in the drawn match, including flour trademark long-range frees, but on this occasion he struggled massively with his dead ball striking.

In the first half alone he missed the target from five free kicks, none of them simple, but all normally well within his compass.

That was a malaise that seemed to have crept into South Kerry during the week, and it allowed Dr Crokes build a four-point lead, 1-6 to 0-5, at half time, and thereafter the champions were in no mind to get drawn into an arm wrestle like they were in the first match.

Sheehan’s woes began as early as the second minute when he pulled a 45-metre free wide, while at other end, Tony Brosnan – who was clinical all through – won and converted a free to put Crokes ahead.

tony-brosnan Tony Brosnan finished with 0-6 for Dr Crokes. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Ciaran Keating and Brendan O’Sullivan replied with points for South Kerry before Shaw’s replacement, Daithi Casey pointed to make it 0-2 apiece after 10 minutes.

Two minutes later Johnny Buckley lined up Gavin White to break the South Kerry defensive cover, and he slipped the ball to Brosnan who stroked it past Padraig O’Sullivan to make it 1-2 to 0-2 for the champions.

Casey had a reasonable penalty claim waved away a minute later, and then Micheal Burns fluffed a decent goal chance when his weak shot was blocked by Killian Young, as Dr Crokes looked to put real distance between the teams.

Instead, they had to settle for that four-point lead at the break with Casey, Potts and Brosnan (2) on target for Crokes, and Daniel Daly and Niall O’Shea on the mark for South Kerry.

The second half was, by and large, comfortable for Dr Crokes, except for one self-inflicted wound.

After two early points from Brosnan, South Kerry’s Niall O’Shea reacted well to a spilled ball from goalkeeper Shane Murphy to clip the ball to the net to make it 1-5 to 1-8 and give South Kerry a lifeline.

However, three of the next four points, from Burns (2) and Brian Looney, opened up a 1-11 to 1-6 lead for the Killarney club, and when Sheehan had to retire injured in the 48th minute South Kerry’s chances effectively vanished, even though he had failed to raise a flag before that.

Even with almost eight additional minutes added, mostly for a number of injuries that sprinkled the second half, South Kerry could make no inroads into Crokes lead, with Casey (2) and Brosnan adding late points.

Dr Crokes now put their title on the line next Sunday in Tralee against the David Clifford-led East Kerry divisional team.

Scorers for Dr Crokes: T Brosnan 0-6 (2f), M Potts 1-1, D Casey 0-4 (1f), M Burns 0-2, B Looney 0-1

Scorers for South Kerry: N O’Shea 1-3 Daniel Daly 0-3, B O’Sullivan 0-1, C Keating 0-1

Dr Crokes

1. Shane Murphy

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

5. David O’Leary
6. Gavin White
7. Brian Looney

8. Johnny Buckley
9. Mark O’Shea

10. Micheal Burns
11. Michael Potts
12. Gavin O’Shea

13. Tony Brosnan
14. Daithi Casey
15. Kieran O’Leary

Subs:

17. David Naughton for D O’Leary (25)
19. Alan O’Sullivan for K O’Leary (HT)
21. Jason Lyne for J Payne (inj, 63)
26. Mike Milner for D Casey (65)
23. Jack Griffin for M Burns (67)

South Kerry

1. Padraig O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers)

2. Fionan Clifford (Waterville)
3. Killian Young (Renard)
4. Padraig O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

5. Brian Sugrue (Renard)
6. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)
7. Robert Wharton (Renard)

8. Bryan Sheehan (St Marys)
9. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

10. Brendan O’Sullivan (Valentia)
11. Denis Daly (St Marys)
12. Conor O’Shea (St Marys)

19. Niall O’Shea (Dromid Pearses)
14. Daniel Daly (St Marys)
15. Ciaran Keating (Skellig Rangers)

Subs:

23. Darragh O’Sullivan (St Marys) for B Sheehan (inj, 47)

18. Chris Farley (Dromid Pearses) for C Keating (48)

20. Sam O’Dwyer (Waterville) for R Wharton (57)

21. Dillan O’Donoghue (Dromid Pearses) for N O’Shea (60)

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (St Senans)

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About the author:

Paul Brennan

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