Goals in either half from John Moynihan and a Mark Reen penalty were crucial in securing a fourth O’Donoghue Cup medal for Aidan O’Mahony, who has yet to make a decision on his inter-county future.
“I’m very fortunate to have achieved what I have with both Kerry and the club and this is a very special honour (three in a row) to have been involved in but Éamonn (Fitzmaurice) is the first person I will speak to about it,” he said about his plans for the county team in 2017.
Yesterday’s defeat was the first time since they lost to a Seamus Moynihan-led Glenflesk in 2001 that Dr Crokes lost a senior decider in their own district. Crokes selector Harry O’Neill had few complaints about the result but hopes they will learn from the experience as they plan for February’s All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final against Corofin. He said: “We were beaten by a better team. We started well but didn’t take our goal chances, Rathmore took theirs, and those two goals were the difference on the day. We certainly weren’t minding ourselves and won’t use the 10-week run we’ve had as an excuse.”
Crokes led 0-7 to 0-3 after 21 minutes but missed two glorious goal chances. Moynihan’s goal two minutes later was the spur for Rathmore to take a 1-8 to 0-8 lead at half-time. Former All-Ireland minor-winning goalkeeper Shane Ryan was a constant thorn in the Dr Crokes’s defence and he was fouled in the 47th minute for the penalty which Reen converted to put them 2-10 to 0-10 clear. Paul Murphy and Mark Ryan had the insurance points to secure a famous win for Rathmore who had lost seven divisional finals to Dr Crokes since 1978.
M Reen (1-3, 2f), J Moynihan (1-0), S Ryan (0-3, 2f), G O’Keeffe, C O’Sullivan, B O’Keeffe, A O’Mahony, P Murphy and M Ryan (0-1 each)
J Kiely (0-4, 3f), M Burns (0-3), C Cooper (0-2, 2f), K O’Leary, D Casey (f), E Brosnan and F Fitzgerald (0-1 each).
K O’Keeffe; MJ Kelliher, J O’Sullivan, C Jenkins; P Murphy, C O’Sullivan, C Murphy; A O’Mahony B O’Keeffe; D O’Sullivan, E Lawlor, G O’Keeffe; J Moynihan, S Ryan, M Reen.
B O’Leary for Jenkins and M Ryan for D O’Sullivan (both 46) and D Fitzgerald for Moynihan (56).
S Murphy; L Quinn, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; G White, A O’Sullivan, D O’Leary; A O’Donovan, J Buckley; D Casey, M Burns, J Kiely; C Cooper, K O’Leary, T Brosnan.
E Brosnan for D O’Leary (HT), B Looney for Casey (39), PJ Lawlor for O’Sullivan (47), G O’Shea for T Brosnan (51) and M Milner for Buckley (57).
D Casey (Scartaglen)