Crokes hold off O’Rahillys to re­tain County SFL ti­tle


The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - SPORT - JA­SON O’CON­NOR

MAYBE al­most pro­ces­sional en­coun­ters in this de­cider in re­cent years made us un­en­thused in ad­vance. How­ever, both Dr Crokes and Kerins O’Rahillys cer­tainly did much to add some value to this fix­ture last Sun­day in Lewis Road as the iden­tity of the team County Trea­surer Weeshie Lynch would be pre­sent­ing the rather large Divi­sion One Shield to needed ex­tra-time be­fore it was even­tu­ally known.

A lot of what made this game ap­peal­ing was the way Strand Road ap­proached it. They gen­uinely went at Crokes in their home ground and maybe the lack of a com­pet­i­tive fix­ture since they beat Stacks in the Tralee Board Fi­nal at the start of num­ber was the only thing that came against them in the end. The game had el­e­ments of the two County Cham­pi­onship en­coun­ters be­tween the sides this year, the strong start O’Rahillys made to the Semi-Fi­nal and the strong and sur­prise fin­ish to the Round 2A game they won. Gavin O’Brien tore through for an early goal again, this time after his ini­tial shot had been blocked as the vis­i­tors opened with 1-3 be­fore Daithi Casey got Crokes on the board in the 12th minute.

Prior to that there were some ruc­tions. Crokes cap­tain John Payne shown a straight red card by Jonathon Grif­fin in the sixth minute fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with his um­pire Sean Joy after an in­ci­dent with Jack Sav­age. The de­ci­sion was the pre­cur­sor to Crokes man­ager Pat O’Shea los­ing his cool as two min­utes later when play was over at the other side of the pitch, Grif­fin sent O’Shea into the ter­race be­hind the Crokes dugout after Crokes were even­tu­ally awarded a free by the ref­eree. De­spite these set­backs, Crokes re­grouped in the 19th minute when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on

Colm Cooper which

Casey con­verted at the sec­ond time of ask­ing past Gary Kis­sane for a deficit of 1-4 to 1-2.

Both Casey and Micheal Burns had Crokes level at 1-5 apiece after 27 min­utes. Tony Bros­nan would put them ahead for the first time in the sec­ond minute of ad­di­tional time as a sweep­ing move in­volv­ing Johnny Buck­ley and Kieran O’Leary led to a goal for Burns that ap­peared to give Crokes a four-point lead at half-time. Cor­mac Cof­fey played a high ball into Tommy Walsh how­ever and the Strand Road full-for­ward slot­ted home to make it 2-6 to 2-5 at the end of an amaz­ing open­ing pe­riod. The Tralee side came out with the same vigour as their start to the first pe­riod as Shane Mur­phy needed to make a dou­ble save to stop O’Rahillys start­ing off an­other pe­riod strongly. A Jack Sav­age free in the 38th minute was their only score un­til the last 10 min­utes how­ever as their se­lec­tor Mark Fitzger­ald was also ban­ished to the ter­race by Grif­fin. Crokes started slot­ting over points de­spite their nu­mer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage, sub­sti­tute Jor­dan

Kiely putting them ahead by

2-13 to 2-6 after 51 min­utes. Then, from seem­ingly nowhere like back in Septem­ber came an­other Strand Road flurry!

Sav­age and Barry John Keane had points be­fore Strand Road were awarded a penalty that seemed in­evitable but un­cer­tain un­til it was given. Sav­age slot­ted the ball past Shane Mur­phy to make it 2-13 to 3-8 after 58 min­utes with Crokes pun­ished for try­ing to play posses­sion foot­ball by Cof­fey and even­tu­ally Keane in third minute of in­jury time in lev­el­ling the scores up. Tony Bros­nan still had a chance to win if for Crokes but the free went wide as ex­tra-time would some­how be needed to de­cide the out­come. The hosts re­jigged their for­ward line in go­ing back up to the full 15 as points for O’Leary, Casey and Brian Looney (his sec­ond) made it 2-16 to 3-10 after the first pe­riod. Two Jack Sav­age frees, bring­ing his to­tal to 1-8 in all, were all Strand Road could score in ex­tra-time as a calm­ing point from sub­sti­tute Mark O’Shea did much to send Crokes on to a five-point win.

The other­wise im­pres­sive Ja­son Lyne was black carded mid­way through the sec­ond ad­di­tional pe­riod, but his side had still done enough to win the County League ti­tle for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year and sixth time this decade.

DR CROKES: Shane Mur­phy; John Payne, Eoin Bros­nan, Michael Potts; David O’Leary, Gavin White, Ja­son Lyne; Johnny Buck­ley, Daithi Casey (1-4, 3f); Micheal Burns (1-4), Gavin O’Shea (0-1), Brian Looney (0-2); Colm Cooper (0-2), Kieran O’Leary (0-1), T Bros­nan (0-4, 1f). Subs: Brian Fitzger­ald for David O’Leary, Jor­dan Kiely (0-1) for Kieran O’Leary, Shane Doolan for O’Shea, Alan O’Sul­li­van for Burns, Kieran O’Leary for Cooper, Micheal Burns for Doolan, Gavin O’Shea for Payne, Mark O’Shea (0-1) for Gavin O’Shea, Shane Doolan for Eoin Bros­nan, David Naughton for Lyne (black card).

KERINS O’RAHILLYS: Gary Kis­sane; Danny O’Sul­li­van, Ross O’Cal­laghan, David Mur­phy; Rory Car­roll, Cor­mac Cof­fey (0-1), Dar­ragh McEl­lig­ott; Gavin O’Brien (1-0), David Moran; Karl Mullins, Tommy Walsh (1-0), BJ Keane (0-3); Jack Sav­age (1-8; 0-6f), Tom Hoare, John Fer­gu­son. Subs: Gearóid Sav­age for Fer­gu­son, Gearóid Dil­lane for Mullins, Karl Mullins for Car­roll, Ja­son O’Leary for McEl­lig­ott.

REF: Jonathon Grif­fin (Glen­beigh/Glen­car)

Weeshie Lynch, left, pre­sent­ing the Divi­sion One Shield to Dr Crokes cap­tain Johnny Buck­ley with Ger Galvin, on be­half of the Credit Union, pre­sent­ing with the Man of the Match award after the County SFL Divi­sion 1 fi­nal at Lewis Road, Kil­lar­ney on Sun­day. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

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