Tony Leen, Tralee
Eight county finals in ten years. That’s the impressive boast of Dr Crokes who booked yet another Kerry SFC final berth Sunday with a 2-19 to 2-10 victory over Kerins O’Rahilly’s at Austin Stack Park.
The scoreline does scant justice to the proceedings, though. Fifteen minutes from the end of a captivating encounter the sides were level, 2-9 to 0-15, but decisively O’Rahilly’s had just lost Kerry’s Jack Savage to a second yellow card.
It dented the Tralee side’s hopes but not nearly as much as the calamitous short kick out from keeper Gary Kissane in the 54th minute which failed to find his man.
Crokes’ Kieran O’Leary nipped in and unselfishly teed up sub Jordan Kiely for the simple finish.
From there to the finish the Killarney side showed why they are going for an eighth title in ten seasons – only in 2014 and 2015 have they failed to lift the Bishop Moynihan Trophy.
Kiely added another goal, and not even a black card for Colm Cooper could derail the black and amber juggernaut.
They will have to wait a week to discover their final opponents.
East Kerry thought they had snatched victory in a testy encounter against Dingle, only for Tom O’Sullivan to pop up with a well worked point in the seventh minute of injury time to force a 2-10 to 1-13 draw.
The replay has been fixed for next Sunday, again at Austin Stack Park. Kerry starlet David Clifford scored 2-4 for East Kerry and missed a first half penalty.
But Dingle’s inter-county contingent were to the fore too, with Paul Geaney (0-6), Tom O'Sullivan (1-1) and Mikey Geaney (0-2) contributing 1-9 of Dingle’s total.
In the 45th minute Dingle led 1-10 to 0-7 but East Kerry responded to the O’Sullivan goal with a fisted finish from David Clifford, triggering a fightback for the division.
They thought they had edged a final place when Jack Sherwood galloped forward to fist the lead point, but referee Sean Joy found seven minutes of injury time (having signalled four minutes) to allow Dingle time to set up the chance of an equalising point.