(after extra time)
DESPITE a poor start and a poor finish in normal time, Dr Crokes recovered to claim a fourth consecutive Kerry SFL Division One title after an eventful encounter in Lewis Road.
Crokes were delighted to be in front at half-time having lost both captain John Payne and manager Pat O’Shea in the opening eight minutes. Payne was shown a straight red card by referee Jonathon Griffin after an incident involving himself and O’Rahilly’s’ Jack Savage. O’Shea was ordered off the pitch two minutes later by Griffin with Strand Road selector Mark Fitzgerald dismissed in the second period as well for a separate incident.
Gavin O’Brien scored the visitors’ first goal in the fourth minute before Colm Cooper was fouled for Daithí Casey to convert the resultant penalty, albeit at the second attempt.
Crokes went ahead for the first time in first half injury time as Tony Brosnan made it 1-6 to 1-5 but two goals would follow before the whistle. Micheál Burns gave Crokes a four-point lead before a high ball from Cormac Coffey to Tommy Walsh allowed him to make it a one-point game again at the break, 2-6 to 2-5.
A double save from Shane Murphy thwarted Strand Road early in the second period but Strand Road never gave up despite trailing by 2-13 to 2-6 with nine minutes of normal time left. A free from Savage was the launchpad for an O’Rahilly’s comeback that saw a penalty from the same player leave only two points between the sides after 58 minutes, 2-13 to 3-8. Cormac Coffey and Barry John Keane put over the equalising points in normal time as Tony Brosnan missed a late free to win it for the hosts there and then.
Crokes scored all three points in the first period of extra-time to lead by 2-16 to 3-10 as O’Rahilly’s started to feel the effects of their brave efforts. Crokes substitute Mark O’Shea fisted over a calming point for Crokes in the second period. Johnny Buckley was awarded the official man of the match award after another towering display for the victors.
Scorers for Dr Crokes:
D Casey (3 frees) and M Burns (1-4 each), T Brosnan (0-4, 1 free), C Cooper and B Looney (0-2 each), G O’Shea, J Kiely, K O’Leary and M O’Shea (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kerins O’Rahilly’s:
J Savage (1-8, 1-0 pen, 6 frees), G O’Brien and T Walsh (1-0 each), BJ Keane (0-3) and C Coffey (0-1).
S Murphy; J Payne, E Brosnan, M Potts; D O’Leary, G White, J Lyne; J Buckley, D Casey; M Burns, G O’Shea, B Looney; C Cooper, K O’Leary, T Brosnan.
B Fitzgerald for D O’Leary (H/T), J Kiely for K O’Leary (41), S Doolan for O’Shea and A O’Sullivan for Burns (both 54), K O’Leary for Cooper, M Burns for Doolan and G O’Shea for Payne (all ET), M O’Shea for G O’Shea and S Doolan for E Brosnan (H/T ET) and D Naughton for Lyne (BC, 75).
G Kissane; D O’Sullivan, R O’Callaghan, D Murphy; R Carroll, C Coffey, D McElligott; G O’Brien, D Moran; K Mullins, T Walsh, BJ Keane; J Savage, T Hoare, J Ferguson.
G Savage for Ferguson (52), G Dillane for Mullins (ET), K Mullins for Carroll (65) and J O’Leary for McElligott (75)
J Griffin (Glenbeigh/Glencar)