Dr Crokes 2-11 Corofin 0-8
By Eoghan Cormican, Gaelic Grounds
Dr Crokes will face Slaughtneil in next month’s All-Ireland club SFC decider after overcoming Corofin in today’s semi-final.
The nine-point victory at the Gaelic Grounds made for sweet redemption after the Killarney outfit had fallen short at this very hurdle in 2012, ’13 and ’14.
Having been somewhat under the cosh during the third quarter, a period during which Corofin rattled off three on the bounce to reduce the deficit to 1-9 to 0-8, Dr Crokes’ progression to the final was wrapped on 49 minutes as sub Jordan Kiely notched their second goal.
It was a score born out of a superb piece of vision by one Colm Cooper as his free inside his own 20-metre line found Daithi Casey unmarked at midfield, with the latter blazing a trail through the opposition defence before offloading to Casey.
Cooper (free), Tony Brosnan and ‘keeper Shane Murphy (free) added the icing thereafter.
Dr Crokes were full value for their 1-7 to 0-5 interval advantage. Mind you, it wasn’t until Gavin O’Shea’s fortuitous goal on 27 minutes that the scoreboard began to reflect their dominance.
A Colm Cooper effort had fallen short, Kieran O’Leary recycled to O’Shea and his point attempt dropped into the left corner of Bernard Power’s goal.
That green flag put the Munster champions 1-5 to 0-4 in front and they pushed further clear with a point from Kieran O’Leary. The former Kerry captain finished the half with five points from play and while he proved more than a handful for Cathal Silke and Kieran Fitzgerald, the quality of ball in from Gooch, Gavin White and company was first class.
Scorers for Dr Crokes: K O’Leary (0-5); J Kiely, G O’Shea (1-0); D Casey (0-2, 0-2 frees); C Cooper (0-1 free), T Brosnan, S Murphy (0-1 free), B Looney (0-1 each).
Scorers for Corofin: G Sice (0-2 frees), J Leonard (0-1 free), D Wall (0-2 each); I Burke, M Farragher (0-1 each).
Dr Crokes: S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, L Quinn; D O’Leary, G White, F Fitzgerald; A O’Donovan, A O’Sullivan; J Buckley, G O’Shea, B Looney; K O’Leary, D Casey, C Cooper.
Subs: M Burns for Looney (41 mins); J Kiely for O’Shea (48); T Brosnan for Casey (53); S Doolan for O’Leary (58); M Milner for Cooper (62).
Corofin: B Power; K Fitzgerald, L Silke, C Silke; K Molloy, C McGrath, C Cunningham; D Burke, R Steede; G Sice, D Wall, J Leonard; I Burke, M Farragher, M Lundy.
Subs: G Higgs for C Silke (35 mins); A Burke for Molloy (38); B O’Donovan for Cunningham (48); C Brady for Wall (50).
Referee: C Branagan (Down).