Yesterday, at Fitzgerald Stadium, it was the turn of their Killarney neighbours Legion to try dent the champions’ confidence. There were moments of uncertainty in the first 30 but, in truth, Dr Crokes were on a different level. When Legion drew close Crokes added a flurry of scores. Colm Cooper (0-8) and Eoin Brosnan were picking up their 11th O’Donoghue Cup medals. Both were key figures but it was the likes of Dáithí Casey (1-3), Kieran O’Leary (0-5), Johnny Buckley and half-time sub Micheál Burns provided spark.
In that first 30 Legion were ultra competitive. A Thomas Moriarty goal in the 12th minute put them ahead 1-1 to 0-3. This jolted Crokes into action and they hit 1-4 in 10 minutes. Casey netting in 17th minute. By the 22nd minute they led 1-7 to 1-1. Legion responded with Podge O’Connor leading from the back and they hit the last four points of the half: three from David O’Sullivan and one from Conor Keane to trail 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.
The champions responded magnificently. The introduction of Burns at half-forward added a cutting edge.
A straight red card in the 47th minute to Legion centre-back Chris Davies was another obvious hindrance. There was six in it ((1-13 to 1-7) at that stage. With the extra man the Dr Crokes cruised home with Cooper knocking over his eighth of the game en route to the eight in a row.
Scorers for Dr Crokes: C Cooper (0-8, 0-6 frees), D Casey (1-3, 0-1 free), K O’Leary (0-5), K Ward, D O’Leary (0-1).
Scorers for Legion: D O’Sullivan (0-4, 0-2 frees), T Moriarty (1-0), J O’Donoghue, C Keane (0-2).
DR CROKES: D Moloney; J Payne, M Moloney, K Ward; E Brosnan, S Doolan, D O’Leary; J Buckley, A O’Sullivan; S Myers, D Casey, B Looney; K O’Leary, C Cooper, G O’Shea. Subs: M Burns for Myers (ht), A O’Donovan for G O’Shea (41), C Brady for A O’Sullivan (blood sub, 48-54), A O’Sullivan for Looney (54), L Quinn for Doolan (59), B O’Shea for A O’Sullivan (59).
LEGION: B Kelly; A O’Sullivan, C Davies, D Sheahan; J Lyne, P O’Connor, C Sheahan; M O’Sullivan, P Lucey; J O’Donoghue, D Pyne, K Breen; T Moriarty, D O’Sullivan, C Keane. Subs: J O’Neill for Breen (blood sub, 18-25), J O’Neill for Breen (47), B McGuire for Moriarty (49), S McCarthy for Pyne (60). Referee: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Firies).