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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Cathal Noonan/INPHO Johnny Buckley of Dr Crokes and Brendan O'Sullivan of South Kerry (file pic).
# see-saw encounter
Dr Crokes and South Kerry to meet again after extra-time Brosnan goal saves champions
The four-in-a-row is still alive for Crokes, just about, after a game that exploded into life in the second half.

Dr Crokes 1-15

South Kerry 0-18

Paul Brennan reports from Fitzgerald Stadium

DR CROKES’ HOPES of a second four-in-a-row of Kerry SFC titles this decade is still alive, but only just, after they were held to a draw this afternoon by their old nemesis, South Kerry, after extra-time.

It took a Tony Brosnan goal three minutes from the end of extra time to save Dr Crokes from crashing out of the championship after South Kerry had clawed their way back from a five-point deficit early in the second half to lead by four late in the game, before Brosnan’s equalising goal.

All the drama was held until the second half and extra time after a lacklustre, if closely fought, first half that plodded along without any real intensity, as the old adage that semi-finals are simply there to be won, whatever which way, certainly seemed to hold true for this game.

Both teams played with the handbrake on in the first half, for fear, it would seem, of getting rolled over by a dangerous opponent, but like with many of the battles between these two over the last 15 years, the game sprung to life after the first 30 minutes.

Dr Crokes edged a tentative first half by 0-7 to 0-6, with former Kerry goalkeeper Shane Murphy converting a 33rd-minute long-range free to give the county champions that slender lead at the break.

Crokes did win the first quarter with points from Micheal Burns, Mark O’Shea and two from Brosnan edging them into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead, but a couple of Daniel Daly frees kept the divisional team in touch.

Midfielders Johnny Buckley and Bryan Sheehan exchanged points, but then Crokes had Buckley retire with an injury after 21 minutes which seemed to unsettle the Killarney club, or perhaps embolden South Kerry, who came out of themselves a lot more in the second quarter.

Brendan O’Sullivan – who was on TG4 Underdog duty in Castlebar on Saturday night, and withdrawn from the South Kerry starting 15 just before the game – came on and added much needed dynamism around the middle, and with Sheehan converting another couple of frees, South Kerry were never far away from the champions on the scoreboard.

Graham O’Sullivan scored South Kerry’s first point from play in the 31st to make it 0-6 apiece but there was still time for Murphy to come forward and kick Crokes into that half-time lead.

The loss of David Shaw through injury two minutes after the restart could have been a fatal blow for Crokes, but instead they reeled off the first four points of the half to open up an ominous five-point lead.

A lesser team than South Kerry might have folded there and then, but remarkably they kicked the next five points – in five minutes – to level it at 0-11 apiece, and from there to the end it was the epic battle most had anticipated it would be.

Three times from the 49th minute Dr Crokes kicked a lead point only for South Kerry through the brilliant Sheehan twice, and Niall O’Shea with a sublime 64th minute score, to draw level and see the game go to extra time.

Graham O’Sullivan drew first blood in the third period to give South Kerry the lead for the first time, and a Sheehan free and a late score from Niall O’Shea saw the divisional team turn around 0-17 to 0-14 in front.

An early Dillan O’Donoghue point after the restart looked to have put the issue to bed as South Kerry went four clear, but Brosnan’s fifth point gave Crokes a chance, and when Daithí Casey drove forward and found support from Gavin White, Brosnan again was on hand to take the ball and roll it past Padraig O’Sullivan to save Crokes.

The replay goes ahead next weekend, with East Kerry waiting for the winner in the final a week after that.

Scorers for Dr Crokes: T Brosnan 1-5 (2f), M Burns 0-3, D Casey 0-2 (1f), S Murphy 0-1f, J Buckley 0-1, M O’Shea 0-1, D Shaw 0-1f, K O’Leary 0-1

Scorers for South Kerry: B Sheehan 0-7 (4f), Daniel Daly 0-4 (3f), G O’Sullivan 0-2, N O’Shea 0-2, B O’Sullivan 0-1, C O’Shea 0-1, D O’Donoghue 0-1

Dr Crokes

1. Shane Murphy

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

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

8. Johnny Buckley
9. Mark O’Shea

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

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

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Subs

19. Alan O’Sullivan for J Buckley (inj, 23)
17. David Naughton for M Potts (43)
28. Paul Clarke for M O’Shea (50)
23. Brendan Falvey for G O’Shea (63)
9. Johnny Buckley for A O’Sullivan (ET)
5. Michael Potts for D O’Leary (ET, 70)
22. Cillian O’Regan for J Payne (ET, 74)

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)

22. Jack Daly (St Marys)
11. Denis Daly (St Marys)
12. Conor O’Shea (St Marys)

13. Barry O’Dwyer (Waterville)
14. Daniel Daly (St Marys)
15. Ciaran Keating (Skellig Rangers)

Subs

19. Niall O’Shea (Dromid Pearses) for B O’Dwyer (inj, 25)
10. Brendan O’Sullivan (Valentia) for J Daly (30)
18. Chris Farley (Dromid Pearses) for C Keating (54)
21. Dillan O’Donoghue (Dromid Pearses) for Daniel Daly (62)
23. Darragh O’Sullivan (St Marys) for B Sugrue
25. Paul O’Sullivan (Valentia) for R Wharton (77)

Referee: Paul Hayes (Kerins O’Rahillys)

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