On Saturday they had a decider fraught with risks, not least the possibility of injury or suspension. They played risk-free and dominated.
It was just eight days before they return to the same venue for the county final but joint manager Noel O’Leary said next Sunday was not an issue.
“This was a county final, that’s the way we treated it. We wanted the bragging rights in Killarney. Today was all about beating your local rivals and that’s important to the Crokes people.”
He went on to explain their thinking of leaving Cooper, Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O’Leary on the field when the game was well won.
“Well, the method in our madness is that our county players have not played with us all year so we wanted them to play as much as possible with the lads.”
A pedestrian first half saw Dr Crokes score at will and they picked off some fine scores to lead by 0-10 to 0-4 at the break.
Cooper hit three points from play in that first period while Johnny Buckley, who excelled at midfield, and Dáithí Casey, a great fulcrum at centre-forward, knocked over two each. Legion responded with frees: three from David O’Sullivan and one from James O’Donoghue.
The outcome was sealed when Crokes hit 1-2 in the first four minutes of the second half. The goal came in the 34th minute from Cooper, while Casey added the second.
Legion’s Shaun Keane hit his side’s only point from play before O’Donoghue converted a penalty seven minutes from time.
The victors signed off with 1-2 in the last five minutes. The third goal was expertly finished to the net by Cooper.
Scorers for Dr Crokes: C Cooper 2-4, D Casey 1-4 (0-2f), K O’Leary 0-3, J Buckley 0-2, J Doolan, K O’Leary, B Looney, A O’Donovan & C Brady 0-1.
Legion: J O’Donoghue 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), D O’Sullivan 0-3 (3f), S Keane 0-1.
DR CROKES: D Moloney; J Payne, L Quinn, D O’Leary; E Brosnan, F Fitzgerald, M Moloney; A O’Donovan, J Buckley; A O’Sullivan, D Casey, B Looney; K O’Leary, C Cooper, J Doolan.
Subs: C Brady for Looney (37), S Doolan for Brosnan (39), G O’Shea for O’Sullivan (44), B McMahon for Buckley (45), M Egan for Payne (47).
LEGION: B Kelly; C Sheehan, P O’Connor, A O’Sullivan; J Lyne, C Davies, D Sheahan; S Keane, P Lucey; J O’Neill, J O’Donoghue, B Maguire; T Moriarty, D O’Sullivan, C Keane.
Subs: K Breen for O’Neill (35), S McCarthy for D Sheehan (35), D Pyne for Maguire (44), M O’Sullivan for C Sheehan (44), D Gleeson for D O’Sullivan (53).
Referee: Ger Lynch (Ballymac).