Dr Crokes 1-12 Loughmore-Castleiney 0-9
By Eoghan Cormican, Lewis Road
Dr Crokes are back in the Munster club football final courtesy of this six-point win over Tipperary champions Loughmore-Castleiney.
The Killarney outfit were nowhere near their best in fending off the challenge of the visitors and the heated exchanges between management and players after the final whistle told the tale of a frustrated outfit.
Liam McGrath fired Loughmore in front on three minutes, but they were shoved onto the back-foot when Colm Cooper, set up by Kieran O’Leary, blasted to the net on six minutes.
It was a lead the home side would take to the break, with Gavin O’Shea, Daithi Casey, Gavin White and Colm Cooper splitting the posts to maintain their three-point advantage, 1-5 to 0-5 the interval scoreline.
Liam Treacy landed a huge score from distance 23 seconds into the second period, but it was to prove Loughmore’s sole score from play in the second-half. They’d finish with 13 men as both John Ryan and Tomás McGrath were dismissed on second yellow cards.
Scorers for Dr Crokes: C Cooper (1-3, 0-1 free); D Casey (0-2, 0-2 frees); E Brosnan, J Kiely, G White, G O’Shea, J Buckley, B Looney, T Brosnan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: L McGrath (0-6 frees, 0-6 frees); J Hennessy, J McGrath, L Treacy (0-1 each).
Dr Crokes: S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; D O’Leary, A O’Sullivan, G White; A O’Donovan, E Brosnan; J Buckley, D Casey, B Looney; K O’Leary, C Cooper, G O’Shea.
Subs: M Burns for Looney (35 mins); L Quinn for Fitzgerald (42, bc); J Kiely for O’Shea (48); T Brosnan for Buckley (54); M Milner for A O’Donovan (59); B O’Shea for O’Leary (60).
Loughmore-Castleiney: D Brennan; L Egan, J Meagher, W Eviston; J Ryan, A McGrath, J Hennessy; N McGrath, L Treacy; A McGrath, E Sweeney, T McGrath; J McGrath, B McGrath, L McGrath.
Subs: D Kennedy for L Treacy (38, bc); T Maher for Sweeney (58); E Connolly for B McGrath (58).
Referee: J Bermingham (Cork).