O’Leary brace helps Crokes to survive their trip to Tipperary
MUNSTER CLUB SFC QUARTER-FINAL
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)