O’Leary brace helps Crokes to sur­vive their trip to Tip­per­ary

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - PAUL BREN­NAN REF­EREE: J Ber­ming­ham (Cork)


Moyle Rovers 0-8 Dr Crokes 3-15

TOUGHER games ahead for the Kerry cham­pi­ons - start­ing next Sun­day against St Fin­barrs of Cork - but this was the first provin­cial fence to be jumped and Dr Crokes ne­go­ti­ated Moyle Rovers with con­sum­mate pro­fes­sion­al­ism that en­abled a com­fort­able win.

Twelve months ago Crokes had trav­elled to Clon­mel to play the lo­cal Com­mer­cials and found the go­ing a good deal tougher against the then Tip­per­ary cham­pi­ons af­ter, per­haps, cel­e­brat­ing their county fi­nal win a lit­tle too much and, per­haps, tak­ing Clon­mel a lit­tle lightly. No such com­pla­cency last Sun­day, seven days af­ter win­ning a third con­sec­u­tive county ti­tle, al­beit against Tipp cham­pi­ons of in­fe­rior qual­ity to Clon­mel, and who were with­out their one real qual­ity player, Peter Ach­e­son.

Not that Ach­e­son would have made any dif­fer­ence to the end re­sult here given Dr Crokes to­tal su­pe­ri­or­ity and dom­i­nance through­out. The first quar­ter was even enough with Moyle Rovers play­ing con­fi­dent, at­tack-driven foot­ball, and trail­ing 0-3 to 0-2 af­ter 10 min­utes the Tipp cham­pi­ons had ev­ery rea­son to be pleased with them­selves.

How­ever, there are few bet­ter teams than Dr Crokes to seize on a mis­take by the op­po­si­tion and one such de­fen­sive fum­ble was seized upon by Tony Bros­nan who played in Kieran O’Leary for the eas­i­est of goals from a cou­ple of me­tres out. That score put the vis­i­tors four points ahead af­ter 12 min­utes and by the 24th minute they were seven ahead, 1-7 to 0-3, af­ter some ex­cel­lent team moves fin­ished with points from Daithi Casey, Micheal Burns and David Shaw.

Dr Crokes had lost full back Michael Moloney to in­jury at that stage, but a big­ger loss was that of Moyle Rovers corner for­ward Liam Boland who was dis­missed for a black card of­fence in the 20th minute.

Boland had looked one of Rovers’ more threat­en­ing for­wards, but

Dara Ryan scored two ex­cel­lent points in as many min­utes to make it a five-point game af­ter 27 min­utes, and there was a sense that Rovers would have been happy enough to make it to half-time at that and re­group for the sec­ond pe­riod.

Alas, hav­ing shot them­selves in one foot with O’Leary’s 12th minute goal, they shot them­selves in the other one just be­fore the break by con­ced­ing an­other need­less goal. The ex­cel­lent Johnny Buck­ley un­der­hit a shot for a point, which should have been dealt with by the cov­er­ing Jack Har­ney, but when the sub­sti­tute let the ball drop out of his hands O’Leary was there to slap the ball past Ciaran Ken­rick for the sec­ond time. Al­most from the kick­out O’Leary scored a point and sud­denly Dr Crokes were tak­ing a 2-8 to 0-5 lead to the in­ter­val and there was al­ready an air of in­evitabil­ity to the re­sult.

In the sec­ond minute of the sec­ond half Moyle Rovers had a great chance to drag them­selves back into con­tention but Shane Fo­ley’s low shot, af­ter great ap­proach work, hit the bot­tom of the post, and when the ball came out to Stephen Quirke his goal-bound shot struck Fo­ley and was even­tu­ally cleared to safety by Crokes. It seemed to sum up Moyle Rovers af­ter­noon, and when Fo­ley was sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card foul in the 39th minute it wasn’t go­ing to be their day.

Points from O’Leary and Burns stretched Crokes’ lead be­fore Colm Cooper’s well-struck shot was pushed over the cross­bar by Ken­rick to make it 2-12 to 0-6 af­ter 47 min­utes. The Kerry cham­pi­ons were al­ready think­ing of next week­end’s semi-fi­nal against St Fin­barrs when Burns was dis­missed for a dou­ble book­ing in the 55th minute and when Bros­nan set up sub­sti­tute Michael Potts for their third goal to see them run out con­vinc­ing 16-point win­ners.

DR CROKES: Shane Mur­phy; Fionn Fitzger­ald, Michael Moloney, John Payne; David O’Leary, Gavin White, Shane Doolan; Johnny Buck­ley, Daithi Casey 0-1; Micheal Burns 0-3, Gavin O’Shea, Brian Looney; David Shaw 0-1, Kieran O’Leary 2-2, Tony Bros­nan 0-7 (6f) . Subs: Alan O’Sul­li­van for Moloney (21, inj); Colm Cooper 0-1 for Shaw (39); Jor­dan Kiely for Casey (43); Michael Potts 1-0 for Doolan (45); Ja­son Lyne for O’Leary (47); Mark O’Shea for O’Leary (52).

MOYLE ROVERS: C Ken­rick; A Camp­bell, T Fitzger­ald, P Mor­ris­sey; Luke Boland, R Mulc­ahy 0-1, D Mc­Grath; R Power 0-2, S Quirke; D Ryan 0-2, A Mc­Grath, M Irwin; Liam Boland 0-1, D Owens, S Fo­ley. Subs: J Har­ney for Mor­ris­sey (18 mins); D Fo­ley for Liam Boland (20, bc); R Quigley 0-1 for Quirke (44); S Carey 0-1 for A Mc­Grath (45); B Owens for Luke Boland (48)

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