Ardfert 1-14 St Croan’s 0-9
Ardfert celebrated a third All-Ireland club football crown this evening, the North Kerry club easing past the challenge of St Croan’s to secure the intermediate title at GAA HQ.
Prior to throw-in, Ardfert stood as the sole club to hold All-Ireland junior and intermediate honours, the respective titles annexed in 2006 and ’07, and Pat O’Driscoll’s charges created further history here by becoming the first club to annex the intermediate silverware on two occasions.
David Griffin’s goal on 20 minutes was the game's crucial score, tapering the fuse on an unanswered 1-3.
St Croan’s hit the front as early as the eleventh second, Kevin Smyth on the mark. Ardfert replied through Trevor and Damien Wallace and while Smyth tied proceedings on seven minutes, the Roscommon champions would fail to add to their tally until deep in first-half stoppages.
Gaining a stranglehold around the middle and, indeed, on their own forty where Trevor Wallace and Daniel Collins impressed, Pat O’Driscoll’s charges wasted little time in converting their dominance into scores.
David Griffin, set-up by Darren Wallace, blasted the content’s opening goal on 20 minutes and the gap was further courtesy of Damien Wallace (0-2, 0-1 free) and Griffin.
The Kerry champions continued to move out of sight at the change of ends, Griffin, Damien Wallace (free) and John Egan raising white flags.
St Croan’s, to their credit, refused to bend the knee and were desperately unlucky on two occasions not to find the net – Nicholas O’Sullivan denying Daniel Malone and Cathal Connelly steering his effort inches the wrong side of the left post.
Ardfert enjoyed no such frustration at the other end and closed out the win with points from John Egan and Damien Wallace.
Scorers for Ardfert: Damien Wallace (0-6, 0-3 frees); D Griffin (1-3); J Egan (0-3); Darren Wallace, Trevor Wallace (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Croan’s: K Smyth (0-6, 0-5 frees); M Connaughton (0-2, 0-1 ’45), B Mullins (0-1).
Ardfert: N O’Sullivan; D Dineen, R Horgan, M Moloney; T Wallace, D Collins, S Leen; J Dowling, K Shanahan; D Griffin, Darren Wallace, F Horgan; S Griffin, Damien Wallace, J Egan.
Subs: J Wallace for Dowling (19 mins), B Barrett for Collins (29, inj), M Ferris for Darren Wallace (50), N Clifford for F Horgan (56), E Corridon for S Grifin (60).
St Croan’s: V Egan; G Mockler, G Gorgan, K Keenan; D Malone, E Towey, M Connaughton; R Timothy, A Brogan; K Smyth, J Connaughton, K Muldoon; R Keenan, M Holland, S Smyth.
Subs: B Mullin for Brogan (22 mins), P Leech for Muldoon (28), M Towey for Mockler (HT), C Connelly for R Keenan (38), T Egan for Timothy (61).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).