Both former All-Ireland club champions enjoy a deserved reputation as stylists, but without the injured Colm Cooper, Dr Crokes lacked the direction and potency of their visitors to Killarney on Saturday night.
Cooper's persistent groin injury is a growing concern for Kerry's Munster SFC semi-final against Tipperary on June 15, but the watching Páidí Ó Sé must have been heartened by the sight of Laune Rangers' Mike Frank Russell claiming seven points for his side. However, without his corner-forward colleagues, Colin O'Connor and Brian Gannon, Russell might not have enjoyed the same range of options between them, the trio claimed 12 points for Killorglin. Dr Crokes, who also lost Kerry's Eoin Brosnan to a hamstring twinge before half-time, had to employ all their renowned nous to stay in touch, but they will also regret a number of missed frees by two-goal Mike Crowley. First-half goals by Jerry O'Brien and Kerry's John Sheehan gave Rangers a 2-3 to 1-5 half-time advantage, and they had stretched that lead to six points (2-9 to 1-6) before Crowley took advantage of a slip by a Killorglin defender to give Crokes a lifeline.
Gannon hit the post for Laune Rangers as they recovered to run out easy winners. In yesterday's five first round games, Glenflesk, Austin Stacks, West Kerry, Rathmore and East Kerry all advanced. Glenflesk, inspired by the brilliance of Séamus Moynihan, recovered from an early two goal salvo to defeat Listowel Emmets in Tralee (1-12 to 3-3). Emmets, playing in their first senior championship game, got the ideal start when they led 2-1 to 0-2 after 10 minutes. Noel Kennelly, in his first game back after a groin operation, pierced the Glenflesk defence in the second and fifth minutes.
Glenflesk fought back, inspired by Moynihan, Ollie Favier and Paud O'Donoghue, who sent over a succession of frees to narrow the gap to 2-2 to 0-7 by the 25th minute.
The crucial moment came in the 41st minute when Micheál O'Donoghue and Moynihan combined to find Ollie Favier, who blasted the ball to the net.
Three points from substitute Seán Fox Farrell in the second half proved to be the inspiration for West Kerry's merited victory against South Kerry in Caherciveen. South Kerry were leading by four points when Kerry minor Declan O'Sullivan grabbed a crucial goal for West Kerry.
However, the winners had a late scare when substitute John Shanahan skimmed the crossbar with a late attempt for goal.
East Kerry claimed an 0-18 to 0-10 victory over Feale Rangers yesterday, after racing into an early 0-9 to 0-1 lead.
It was 0-10 to 0-5 at half-time with Ronan McAuliffe scoring five points and Paul Kennedy and John Cronin dominating at midfield.
Two goals in a minute by Tim Cronin and John Buckley just before half time were enough to give Rathmore a 2-10 to 0-10 victory over Desmonds, while last night, Austin Stacks had a 0-14 to 0-8 win over Tralee neighbours, John Mitchels.
On Saturday night, Shannon Rangers had a facile 2-7 to 0-8 win over St Brendan's in a loser's round fixture in Tralee. Full-forward Timmy Foley's goal gave Rangers a 1-4 to 0-2 lead at the break and Paddy Kelly wrapped things up in the second half with another goal.
Mid Kerry defeated Kenmare 1-14 to 1-7 in the other first-round game.
Scorers for Laune Rangers: M. F. Russell 0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-2 '45's, C O'Connor 0-4, J O'Brien 1-1, J Sheehan 1-0, B Gannon 0-1.
Dr Crokes: M Crowley 2-2, 0-2 frees, A O'Shea 0-2, 0-1 free, E Brosnan 0-1 free, J Jones and K Brosnan 0-1 each.
LAUNE RANGERS: T. Lyons, N. Lynch, E. Ferris, S. O'Sullivan, T. Houlihan, P. Costello, J. Coffey, J. Lynch, J. Sheehan, B. O'Shea, L. Hassett, J. O'Brien, B. Gannon, M. F. Russell, C. O'Connor.
Subs: P. Murphy for T Houlihan, S. Foley for J O'Brien.
DR CROKES: K. Cremin, K. McMahon, J. Cahillane, B. Moriarty, N. Kelders, F. Moran, V. Cooper, K. Brosnan, E. Kavanagh, J. Jones, E. Brosnan, A. O'Donovan, A. O'Shea, M. Crowley, M O'Grady.
Subs. D Moloney for E Brosnan ( inj h/t), C Fuller for B Moriarty, M Cooper for O'Donovan.
Referee: T Sugrue ( St Pats)