East Kerry claimed a first Kerry SFC title in 20 years as their victory also denied Dr Crokes a place in the Munster senior football championship.
Watched by an impressive 8,258 crowd in Austin Stack Park, Dr Crokes were a distant second best and so it will be club championship winners Austin Stacks that represent the county against Nemo Rangers in next Sunday’s provincial semi-final.
Seeking a fourth consecutive Bishop Moynihan Cup, Dr Crokes never led in this game and never enjoyed the same fluid play espoused by East Kerry. David Clifford’s goal in the 34th minute, which put them seven points up, came just a couple of minutes after they lost Pa Warren to a second yellow card.
Crokes’ midfielder Mark O’Shea was then dismissed and after two further East Kerry scores Darragh Roche ended the game as a contest with a second goal in the 45th minute. Gavin White later added a goal for Dr Crokes but it was mere consolation as Mike Moloney was also sent off for a second yellow card offence on David Clifford.
A strong breeze was evident for most of the first half, favouring East Kerry and perhaps not surprisingly they had the advantage at the break, 0-8 to 0-5. Both teams struggled to find their range, East Kerry registering seven wides and kicking one short while Dr Crokes struck four wides and put four into the hands of James Devane.
Mike Foley, a late change to the named team, was outstanding in the opening quarter and scored a couple of points inside the opening two minutes. It took David Clifford to warm into the game as he was double-marked by Moloney who shadowed him and Fionn Fitzgerald who screened him.
East Kerry were three up by the time Dr Crokes opened their account with two beautiful Tony Brosnan points, the second a majestic effort from the outside of his left boot. David Clifford joined the party with a right-footed effort in the 14th minute and five minutes later Foley had added his third to stretch the margin to three points.
It was a one-point game again following Mark O’Shea and Brosnan points but East Kerry finished out the half the stronger. A Clifford free was followed by a beautiful score from his brother Paudie. Evan Cronin sent over his second on the half-hour mark before Brosnan brought the half to a close with a free.
Scorers for East Kerry: D. Clifford (1-3, 0-1 free); S. Roche (1-2, 0-1 free); E. Cronin (0-4); M. Foley (0-3); P. Clifford, P. Doyle (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dr Crokes: T. Brosnan (0-4, 1 free); G. White (1-1); M. O’Shea, K. O’Leary (0-1 each).
EAST KERRY: J. Devane (Spa); C. O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), J. Sherwood (Firies), N. Donohue (do); D. O’Donoghue (Spa, c), S. Cronin (do), P. Warren (Gneeveguilla); L. Kearney (Spa), R. Buckley (Listry); E. Cronin (Spa), P. Clifford (Fossa), B. O’Donoghue (Glenflesk); D. Clifford (Fossa), D. Roche (do), M. Foley (Spa).
Subs for East Kerry: D. Spillane (Spa) for B. O’Donoghue (59); P. Doyle (Gneeveguilla) for M. Foley (60+1); D. Brosnan (Gneeveguilla) for S. Cronin (60+2); P. de Brun (Firies) for D. Roche, M. McCarthy (Spa) for E. Cronin (both 60+5).
Red card: P. Warren (32, second yellow).
DR CROKES: S. Murphy; J. Payne, F. Fitzgerald, M. Moloney; D. O’Leary, G. White, M. Potts; J. Buckley, M. O’Shea; M. Burns, G. O’Shea, B. Looney (c); K. O’Leary, D. Casey, T. Brosnan.
Subs for Dr Crokes: D. Naughton for G. O’Shea (41); A. O’Sullivan for D. O’Leary (46); J. Griffin for B. Looney (49); P. Clarke for M. Potts (56); B. Falvey for M. Burns, C. O’Regan for J. Payne (both 60+2).
Red cards: M. O’Shea (35, straight); M. Moloney (59, second yellow).
Referee: B. Griffin (Clounmacon).